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Is Alcaraz set for another lay-off?

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The Paraguyan has looked a cultured defender on the rare occasions he had made it onto a football pitch, but sadly another long injury absence looks likely.

Chris Brunskill

The 31-year-old has been dogged with injuries over the past 12 months and only made one pre-season appearance for the Blues before undergoing a hernia operation.

He returned at the turn of the year, turning out some decent displays against Southampton, Stoke and QPR.

However, he was then sidelined with what was described as "muscle fatigue", the type of crazy 'injury' only a injury-prone player could sustain.

He was rushed back for the Merseyside derby last month but looked badly off the pace as Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge ran riot (he wasn't alone though, to be fair).

He was subsequently missing from the squad that took on Aston Villa last weekend, sparking fears he has suffered yet another fitness setback.

The Daily Express reports - and as it's the Express it will be taken with a pinch of salt - that his muscle fatigue issue has returned and is now set to miss at least another month.

The fact Phil Jagielka, Sylvain Distin and Tony Hibbert have returned to fitness means any extended Alcaraz absence may not be too keenly felt.

It does, though, leave little margin for error in the season run-in and any further injuries to the backline will leave us looking worryingly short.

We all knew what we were getting when we sign Alcaraz - he only made 14 appearances for Wigan last season due to injury. But we certainly hoped to have seen him on more than four occasions by now.

Any hopes of earning an extended deal look to be fading fast unless he can somehow string some games together towards the end of the season.

Was Alcaraz a risk worth taking? Even if the gamble has backfired? Should we get rid at the end of the season? Have your say below.