Liverpool will shortly be able to welcome back three high-potential youngsters from long-term injury – including one involved in pre-season.
Isaac Mabaya, James Balagizi and Oakley Cannonier are all nearing a return to full fitness following lengthy injury layoffs which have curtailed their seasons.
Mabaya and Balagizi have begun running outdoors at the club’s training facility in Kirkby after extended spells on the sidelines.
All three of the youngsters’ setbacks began in October, with Mabaya – who featured for the first team in pre-season – kept out of action due to an ankle injury and Balagizi undergoing groin surgery.
Balagizi recovered to feature for Crawley Town following his loan move in the summer, but his deal was terminated in January as further, undisclosed fitness problems derailed his progress.
Cannonier has a chance of being involved again this season, having only completed 111 minutes of football since October due to various complications.
The 18-year-old striker famously helped Trent Alexander-Arnold take his quick corner kick against Barcelona while working as a ball boy at Anfield in 2019, but injuries have staggered his own progress after a promising start to his career.
Speaking to the Liverpool Echo, under-21s boss Barry Lewtas hailed the youngster’s progress and explained that he may get an appearance before the end of the campaign.
“Oakley has a chance [of playing again this season]. We have to make sure he is fully fit beforehand,” explained Lewtas.
“We will hopefully get him a game before the end of the season.”
Both Mabaya and Cannonier looked set to be invited to Dubai for the squad’s mid-season training camp, but the unfortunate timing of their injuries meant that they missed out.
Melkamu Frauendorf is also close to full fitness having picked up an injury issue while away with Germany on under-19s international duty.