Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain could be back in full training with Liverpool as early as mid-February, and supporters are understandably elated with the latest update.
Multiple ligament damage to his right knee saw Oxlade-Chamberlain initially ruled out until the start of pre-season, with a return to action expected in 2019/20.
But after a positive spell in rehabilitation alongside Rhian Brewster, the 25-year-old has now taken part in outdoor work, and on Tuesday night it was reported that he is close to joining full training.
He is now pencilled in to bolster Jurgen Klopp‘s squad at Melwood in mid-to-late February, with a possible comeback due in March, and perhaps as early as the Champions League second-leg clash with Bayern Munich.
Oxlade-Chamberlain scored five and assisted eight in 42 games in his first season on Merseyside, playing a crucial role in the run to the final in Europe, and became a hugely popular figure among fans in the process.
Naturally, the news of his return being ahead of schedule has been met with widespread positivity.
There was, understandably, plenty of excitement…
Ox back in 6 weeks? pic.twitter.com/DpFYMTIiNH
— ??? (@WeAreTheKop) January 22, 2019
Ox expected to be back in full squad training in Feb and TEAM SELECTION IN MARCH the guys knee basically snapped off and he’s back already. That’s absolutely mental. I’m so fucking excited to see you back @Alex_OxChambo ?
— Forever Red (@ForeverRed98) January 22, 2019
“Mad to think he’s been at the club so little and had such a great impact. Awesome news”
– Lewis Scott on Facebook.
We may yet get to see Fabinho, Ox, & Keita in the same midfield three this season.
— Kevin (@emptyMINDZ) January 22, 2019
“The missing piece of the jigsaw.”
– Beth Atkinson on Facebook.
“Our January signing ! Great news.”
– Peter Forde on Facebook.
Oxlade-Chamberlain back in early March. pic.twitter.com/BJr1bDM30d
— Minamino FC (@OkSourcee) January 22, 2019
“That’s really excellent , good job to the medics, fitness coach and to Ox’s strong desire to play for the team!!!”
– Paul Robert Smeaton on Facebook.
HE CAN HIT ONE… OOOHHHHH HE CAN HIT ONE! pic.twitter.com/V9FtX29Ryi
— Ste Hoare (@stehoare) January 22, 2019
But some rightly preached the need for patience…
reading “as long as there are no setbacks” in these oxlade chamberlain stories pic.twitter.com/QezRf0ajiT
— Narrative Ultra (@NarrativeUltra) January 22, 2019
“After 9 months out it’s pretty reasonable to expect him to take a few months to get form and match fitness.
“Not exactly in a position where we can have someone on the pitch who isn’t up to speed now are we?
“I think it more likely that he’ll be used very sparingly for the rest of the season unless we are really caught for bodies in the run in.”
– John McKessy on Facebook.
Only athlete I've known to come back from an ACL injury and find form within 12 months was Adrian Peterson and that was incredible.
— Joseph Cousins (@JCuzzy1) January 22, 2019
“Buzzing for him. His attitude has been first class since he walked through the door and his desire to get back has won even the most sceptical Red.
“I’m not expecting him to go straight back in the side and hit the form he was showing last season, but having him back could be the little thing that boosts everyone as we head into the business end of the season.”
– Wez Clarke on Facebook.
Though others hyped his potential role in the title run-in…
The return of Ox and a fairly fresh Keïta for the title run in. pic.twitter.com/CpaywL6OY2
— Sam McGuire (@SamMcGuire90) January 22, 2019
ox scoring the TITLE winning goal against wolves at home is actually happening
— Olivia (@BoxToOx) January 22, 2019
An Oxlade-Chamberlain goal to win the league at Newcastle ???
— Ben (@ben8carter) January 22, 2019
If there’s one player I’d choose to score the goal that wins Liverpool the title, it’s Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Brilliant lad who’s suffered such cruel luck with injury.
Trent or Robertson would be pretty special, too. And Henderson, obviously.
— Henry Jackson (@HenryJackson87) January 22, 2019