REUTERS - Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard is close to a return to action following injury and could feature in their English Premier League clash at home to Hull City on Wednesday, manager Brendan Rodgers said.
The 33-year-old England midfielder hurt his hamstring in the 4-1 win over West Ham United on December 7 and his impending return is a welcome boost for Rodgers, whose side has been hit by a raft of injuries.
“Steven has rejoined training so we’ll see how he is for Hull,” Rodgers said at a news conference on Monday.
“We will assess that over the next 24 hours,” he added when asked if he would feature.
Liverpool are fifth in the table following a 2-1 loss at Chelsea on Sunday which was compounded by injuries to midfielder Joe Allen and defender Mamadou Sakho.
“Joe will probably be a few weeks with an abductor strain. Sakho, we’re just waiting for confirmation on his hamstring strain. Glen Johnson came off but that was tactical and wasn’t injury enforced,” said Rodgers.
”Jordan Henderson is fine. He’s on his first day of recovery today. He’s still sore, but he’s a real soldier and should be fine.
”There were one or two other niggles that we’ll just assess in the next 24 hours.
Buoyed by the stand-out form of striker Luis Suarez, Rodgers had steered Liverpool to the top of the table at Christmas before dropping six points back of leaders Arsenal following the 2-1 losses at Manchester City and Chelsea.
The fixtures are kinder for Liverpool, though, over the next few weeks starting with Hull, who they lost 3-1 to on December 1, before a home FA Cup third round tie against Oldham Athletic.
They then travel to take on Stoke City on January 12, a fixture Rodgers hoped would see the return of striker Daniel Sturridge and defenders Jose Enrique and Jon Flanagan.
“I would think that probably by the Stoke game we’ll have a number of the others who’ll not be too far away,” said the former Swansea City, Reading and Watford boss, who is midway through his second season in charge.
”It’s just been unfortunate. The medical team aligned with our training philosophy have meant the players have been fit for the majority of the time I’ve been here.
“It’s just really in this last period of four or five weeks, which have unfortunately dealt us a big blow in the squad.”
Writing by Patrick Johnston; editing by Sudipto Ganguly