Brendan Rodgers had some good news for Liverpool fans on Thursday afternoon at his Melwood press conference to preview this weekend’s Premier League clash against Aston Villa.
Video: YouTube user True Kop LFC
Rodgers revealed that midfielder Adam Lallana has returned to training ahead of schedule.
Lallana was expected to be sidelined for a month with a thigh injury sustained against Leicester on New Year's Day, but he – along with captain Steven Gerrard – will be fit for next week's Capital One Cup semi-final against Chelsea.
The pair have a chance of featuring against Aston Villa at the weekend but Tuesday's first leg at home to Jose Mourinho's side seems more likely.
With striker Daniel Sturridge edging closer to his first appearance for the club since August 31, defender Glen Johnson back in training, Joe Allen also to rejoin the squad this week and Raheem Sterling back from his week-long break in Jamaica, Rodgers has virtually a fully-fit squad in which to tackle an assault on the top four, reach a cup final and make progress in the Europa League.
"He (Lallana) is ahead of schedule in terms of his rehabilitation and we are hoping he can join the group tomorrow to train," the Reds boss said.
"If he is not available for the weekend he certainly will be by Chelsea.
"He was playing very well (before the injury) and had settled into the club very well. He will get better as his time progresses at the club."
On whether Gerrard – replaced at half-time in Saturday's win at Sunderland with tightness in a hamstring – will be fit, Rodgers added: "We'll see by the end of play tomorrow. If not, then hopefully by the Chelsea game." PA
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