Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson has provided a “very positive” update on his fitness on returning to pre-season training at Melwood on Wednesday.
The midfielder missed the final three months of last season with a long-term foot injury, with the Reds ultimately finishing fourth in the Premier League.
Jurgen Klopp took a cautious approach with Henderson throughout the closing stages of the campaign, not willing to force him into action and prompt any further issues.
But having joined Liverpool’s summer preparations in West Derby in midweek, the 27-year-old is looking forward to the season ahead.
“I’ve probably been waiting longer than everybody else,” he told LFCTV.
“They have been enjoying the break but I’ve been dying to get back into it because I missed the end of last season.
“That was disappointing but I’m very positive and dying to get back into the swing of things this pre-season.
“I’m looking forward to the hard work. I’m just glad to be back on the pitch, running and playing football, that’s the main thing.
“Hopefully I can stay fit. We’ve got a couple of hard weeks ahead of us to get ready for the start of the season.”
Henderson’s commitment to returning at full fitness is commendable, with the skipper continuing training throughout the summer, both at Melwood and while on a break in Portugal.
This should give him an advantage as he looks to slot back into Klopp’s first-team setup, and said he is “looking forward to now getting started properly.”
“I’ve been waiting for a long time to get back on the first day,” he continued.
“I was excited to get out there this morning. Now we’re in the swing of things, I’m looking forward to training and getting as fit as I can, ready for the new season.
“I managed to train throughout the whole time and really enjoyed it. I’m looking forward to now getting started properly.
“There has been a few of us that have had to work hard during the summer to try to get back as quickly as possible, so some of us can get back for the first day or maybe in a week or two.
“It has been all go during the summer. I’m glad to be back training with the lads on the first day.”
Henderson’s last appearance for the Reds came in the 2-0 win at home to Tottenham on February 11, but he will now be targeting a return against Tranmere Rovers on July 12.
Now making up for lost time, he will be eager to impose himself as Klopp plots for a successful 2017/18.