Agger close to return

Daniel Agger is almost ready to return to first team action after recovering from back surgery, Rafa Benitez has confirmed.

The Liverpool defender has missed the start of the season with his persistent injury, but Benitez told press today that he is returning to match fitness and will return to action soon.

Benitez also said Moroccan international Nabil El Zahr is also expected to be ready to challenge for firs team action action after picking up an injury during Liverpool’s pre-season tour of the Far East.

He said, “Both are very close. They’re involved in full training sessions but still they’ll need match fitness.

“They’ll need time to play some games. Now we have some very important games, so we’ll see – but both are very close.”

Benitez, speaking ahead of tomorrow’s Premier League clash at home to Hull City, also gave an update on how £18million midfielder Alberto Aquilani is doing in his recover from an ankle injury.

He added, “He’s going forward, progressing and today he started running. If that goes okay then everything will go a bit faster.

“We have not set a target or any time, but he’s doing well.”

A report in this morning’s Independent suggested the Reds have penciled in October 17th – the away game at Sunderland – as Aquilani’s debut for the club.