(CNN) -- Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard will miss the rest of the English Premier League season due to a persistent groin injury, club manager Kenny Dalglish told a press conference on Friday.
The 30-year-old underwent surgery on the problem in March and had returned to training last week, but a setback has ruled the England international out of the Anfield club's seven remaining games.
The news will come as a blow to the Scottish coach who knows his team must finish in fifth position to qualify for European competition in the 2011/12 campaign.
Tottenham Hotspur currently occupy the final qualifying berth, five points ahead of Liverpool but having played one game less. The Merseyside outfit are also set for a crunch game against third-placed Manchester City on Monday.
"We still don't know definitively what the problem is," Dalglish, who began his second spell as Liverpool boss in January, told the club's official web site.
"So we will wait until we get a precise answer from the people he has been to see ... but he will not be involved again this season.
"The most important [players] are the ones who are fit because they're the ones who can be chosen. At this particular moment in time, I'm as good a player as Steven!" he added.
Gerrard, who has scored four times in the league this season, has not played since his team's 3-1 triumph over arch rivals Manchester United on March 6.
This latest blow adds to Liverpool's injury woes, after Denmark defender Daniel Agger saw his season prematurely curtailed by a knee tendon injury picked up in last weekend's 2-1 defeat at West Bromwich Albion.
In addition to the absence of Gerrard and Agger, the five-time European champions are also without the services of English full-backs Glen Johnson and Martin Kelly.
Johnson, who has been capped 31 times by England, is set for a one-month spell on the sidelines after picking up a hamstring injury in Liverpool's loss at The Hawthorns.
Kelly, 20, has had a setback in his recuperation from a hamstring problem picked up in a 3-1 defeat to West Ham United.