With Kaide Gordon stepping up his return to full fitness after over a year out, the plan for the Liverpool winger’s return has been explained.
It has been a long wait for Gordon, whose last outing for Liverpool was in February 2022, but the hope is that he is nearing his comeback.
The 18-year-old has been sidelined for 16 months with a combination of pelvic and adolescent musculoskeletal issues, with the club extremely cautious with his recovery.
There remain high hopes for the winger who burst into Jurgen Klopp‘s first team to become the Reds’ second youngest-ever goalscorer.
But the likelihood is that Gordon will start to build up his minutes with the under-21s, as explained by academy director Alex Inglethorpe.
“As hard as it is, he probably just needs to reintegrate into the under-21s in pre-season, find his feet and see how he is,” he told The Athletic.
“He’s got to learn to trust his body again and get his rhythm back. After that, anything is possible.”
Though Gordon will turn 19 in October, he remains one of the youngest players considered part of Klopp’s senior setup, and it should be acknowledged that most of his football has been at academy level.
The U21s will prepare for the new campaign with a series of local friendlies, some of which will take place at the AXA Training Centre, and Gordon could feature if his recovery is on track.
That remains to be seen, of course, as his past 16 months have shown that progress is rarely linear when it comes to players in their teenage years.
But while Gordon has missed a lot of football during his time out, Inglethorpe has backed the winger to eventually pick up where he left off.
“It’s been a really difficult season for Kaide. Possibly even harder given where he was when he got his injury,” he added.
“But I’ve kept in touch with Kaide regularly throughout and I’d back him to find a way back to where he was.
“He’s certainly got the character to do that.”