Unai Emery refuses to rule Gerard Moreno out of Liverpool tie after hamstring injury

Villarreal manager Unai Emery has confirmed that striker Gerard Moreno is battling with a hamstring issue but refused to rule the team's top scorer out of the Champions League semi-final against Liverpool.

Moreno was tied with Karim Benzema for La Liga's second-top scorer last season, racking up 23 goals, and he leads his team this year with a return of nine goals from 17 league games.

The 30-year-old scored in his side's 2-1 win over Getafe at the weekend but was withdrawn at the hour mark and, on Monday, was diagnosed with what the club described on Twitter as a 'severe hamstring strain'.

Having only just returned from a calf injury in March, the diagnosis prompted fears that Moreno might have re-aggravated his issue, but Emery was quick to shut down those concerns.

Asked about Moreno's injury, Emery responded: "It is not that serious, it's a slight muscular injury, which makes us think that he will have a short recovery.

"It's not a relapse [of the old issue], so he'll have to do some recovery work with the idea of ​​being able to count on him soon."

Emery specifically declined to rule Moreno out of the Liverpool game on April 27, although reports suggest that the veteran striker's involvement in that game is in serious doubt.

Villarreal have a trip to Alaves three days later which Moreno is almost certain to be kept out to preserve his fitness, but the expectancy is that he will be ready to go for the second leg against Liverpool on May 4.

Source : 90min