Here is a selection of reader comments at the bottom of the story 'Groin injury rules Gerrard out':
- "Gerrard groin strain, what a laugh. Does he think we are all stupid? I'm not a betting man but I would put my life savings on him playing Liverpool's next game."
- "It's always a groin problem when he's playing for England. Coincidence, wouldn't you say?"
- "They only want to play in important games. It gets on my nerves, why can't they just say 'I'm not bothered about playing, ring me when theres a big game'?"
- "I think he should miss the game on Saturday if he can't make England's game. The same for Torres with Spain."
First Wayne Rooney, now Gerrard. With England's final World Cup qualifier against Belarus carrying no real importance to either side, just sit back and watch those sicknotes fly.
Gerrard's withdrawal in particular comes as a surprise to nobody; his groin seems to flare horribly at the first sign of meaningless international action.
Since the 2008/09 season started Gerrard has played seven competitive England matches and three friendlies.
Gareth Barry, meanwhile, has played the same number of qualifiers but twice as many friendlies.
Fast forward to Saturday afternoon at the Stadium of Light, and guess who will be leading Liverpool out against Sunderland? Steven blinking Gerrard.
It happens all the time - injuries strike just when it suits clubs best, then subside nicely in time for the resumption of domestic action.
It is clear that the readers of this site are not happy, but Early Doors is actually going to attempt a defence of this most loathed practice.
Fans like to see things in black and white - players are either fit or they're injured.
Sadly, life is not that simple.
There is almost no such thing as a fully-fit footballer. Anyone who plays 50-plus matches a season will spend much of the time performing with minor injuries.
Everybody suffers knocks, aches and pains, and these have to be managed.
So it is no coincidence that the games semi-fit players miss tend to be the less important ones.
Both Rooney and Gerrard were assessed by England medical staff before being released to their clubs.
Rooney had a calf strain and Gerrard a recurrence of a groin problem. This is a fact. The injuries were not invented.
Could both men have struggled through if it had been the World Cup final? Almost certainly, yes.
But to play them in a largely meaningless game would have increased their chances of aggravating the problem (and the clubs who pay their wages), and Capello would not have got the best out of them anyway.
Will Gerrard or Rooney be 100 per cent fit at the weekend? No. But they will be slightly better than they are today, and able to get through 90 minutes.
However much opposition fans might howl with disapproval, ED reckons the clubs, the players and England are doing the right thing.