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No days off for James Milner as vice-captain returns to Liverpool training

While Trent Alexander-Arnold headed to Dubai for his rehabilitation during the international break, James Milner was back at Kirkby as he returned to training.

Alexander-Arnold was forced to pull out of England duty after suffering a hamstring injury, and on Tuesday morning, the right-back shared an update from the NAS Sports Complex.

The state-of-the-art facility in Dubai is a favourite among Premier League footballers, with the Newcastle squad training in Nad Al Sheba this week too.

However, with Milner also not in action until next month having retired from England in 2016, the midfielder has opted for a more low-key international break so far.

In a post on Instagram on Tuesday, the 36-year-old showed himself “back at it” in the gym at the AXA Training Centre, along with the hashtags #fullbodyday and #readyfortherunin.

Milner missed the last two games for Liverpool after testing positive for COVID-19, but will be back in contention for the visit of Watford on April 2.

His return to availability could be particularly useful if Alexander-Arnold is out for the first two games next month as expected, with the veteran able to fill in at right-back.

“If you look in the past when Milly had to step in he did incredibly well. Incredibly well,” Jurgen Klopp said of the FA Cup quarter-final against Nottingham Forest.

“He just has to be available and then that is fine.”

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, December 19, 2021: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp speaks with James Milner during the FA Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur FC and Liverpool FC at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. The game ended in a 2-2 draw. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Whether Milner will revert to first-choice stand-in remains to be seen, though, with Joe Gomez impressing at right-back in the 1-0 victory at Forest and also able to use the international break to train and recover.

But it certainly boosts Klopp’s options ahead of a busy April that could see Liverpool play up to nine times, including two Champions League quarter-final legs against Benfica and a pair of clashes with Man City.

Alexander-Arnold is targeting a return for the Premier League meeting with City on April 10, which suggests Milner could be in the running for a start against Watford or Benfica.

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