Liverpool youngster Kaide Gordon is still yet to return from a persistent pelvic injury, despite being named in the Champions League squad.
When the Reds’ updated squad for the knockout stages of the Champions League was confirmed, a welcome sign came with the inclusion of 18-year-old Gordon.
The teenager was registered on List B along with Rhys Williams, with Liverpool able to name an unlimited number of players under the age of 21 who have been with the club for at least two uninterrupted years.
It served as another hint as to Gordon’s recovery from a pelvic injury that has now kept him out for an entire year.
His last game at any level came in the under-21s’ 3-0 defeat to Leeds last February, playing the full 90 minutes on the right wing.
A long period of rehabilitation awaited, despite initial claims the injury was “nothing serious,” with the player himself explaining that he would be “back soon” after just a month out.
He reported back to the AXA Training Centre early for pre-season and remained part of the first-team setup, even travelling for the training camps in Austria and Dubai.
But while Gordon has been pictured running around the training pitches in recent months, suggesting he was nearing a return, U21s coach Barry Lewtas has hinted at further setbacks.
Speaking to the Liverpool Echo, Lewtas did however insist that coaches are “happy with where we are with him.”
“It’s tough for him. He is still loading up and building up,” he said.
“We will see where he goes. We still see him every day.
“Sometimes in rehab you have to build people up slowly, and once you do get going you have to speed things up.
“We are not putting any real pressure on him. In long rehabilitations, there can be setbacks.
“Tom Hill and Layton Stewart both had setbacks from their injuries, for example.
“You have to be really careful with Kaide that we don’t put any false promises on anything.
“At the minute we are happy with where we are with him, and he is happy in terms of how he is progressing.
“It will be great to have him back in the fold and hopefully we can do soon enough.”
While the club are clearly making efforts to assure Gordon he remains a senior option, he will almost certainly build up his fitness with the U21s upon his eventual return.
The hope will be that when he is able to come back into the fold that he can avoid further issues, with both Hill and Stewart suffering new injuries in recent months.