Liverpool striker Danny Ings is stepping up his recovery from a long-term knee injury, as team-mate Adam Lallana revealed on Wednesday afternoon.
Ings picked up his second serious knee problem in as many seasons back in October, in only his second senior appearance of the campaign.
Having missed the majority of last season having ruptured his ACL shortly after Jurgen Klopp arrived at the club in 2015, Ings’ layoff was a bitter blow.
The Burnley striker has played just 11 times for the Reds since arriving on a free transfer, scoring three times, enduring a frustrating time since leaving Turf Moor.
But after Klopp revealed that Ings’ fitness was improving at this late stage in the season, Lallana has provided a further update on his recovery.
Taking to Instagram on Wednesday, Lallana quoted legendary baseball player Babe Ruth in praising Ings’ determination.
“You just can’t beat the person who never gives up,” he told his 1,000,000 followers, along with a photo of Ings on an exercise bike at Melwood.
Ings’ return could coincide nicely with Liverpool’s pre-season preparations this summer, and he could provide Klopp with another useful option in attack.
Daniel Sturridge is expected to leave the club at the end of the season, with Paris Saint-Germain among the clubs interested, and his departure will open up an opportunity.
If he is able to prove his fitness, Ings would be able to take up a variety of roles in Klopp’s attacking line, with the 24-year-old able to operate out wide or up front.
Providing Sturridge leaves, Roberto Firmino and Divock Origi would be Klopp’s only other senior centre-forwards heading into 2017/17, and Ings could assume the role of third choice.
Speaking in November, Klopp stressed that Ings would “100 percent” return as a Liverpool player, encouraging the one-cap England international.
“We want to show we’re involved in this,” he told reporters of Ings’ recovery.
“He was very, very close in the last weeks to the team. He helped us.
“Everything will be good in the end, but now it’s time to work on the comeback.”
Until he is able to find consistency, it is unclear what impact Ings can make on the Liverpool squad, with two knee injuries potentially affecting his pace.
But as Lallana will attest, there are few more determined players than Ings, and his return is worth the wait.