Gerrard back for New Year

Liverpool’s talismanic captain Steven Gerrard is scheduled to restart full training on Monday, and currently has the last game before New Year targeted as his return date. He has been sidelined with an ankle injury for the last 8 matches, and has still only made 9 starts under Kenny Dalglish, as a serious groin injury kept him out for much of the previous season.

Gerrard’s current injury started off as an ankle problem he picked up during training in October. Initially, it seemed he would only be out for a couple of games, but this injury developed an infection which ruled him out for another 2 weeks. Since then Gerrard has been participating in light training sessions for the last couple of weeks, and has just returned from the next level up in training – joining the Al Jazira football team in Abu Dhabi.

His return comes at a crucial time for Liverpool, since they have lost midfielder Lucas for the remainder of the season with a ruptured cruciate ligament, and his obvious replacement Jay Spearing is serving a 3 match ban for a straight red card at Fulham. Upon Gerrard’s last return from injury in the game against Manchester United in October, he scored to put Liverpool ahead, and only a Hernandez goal in the 81st minute spared a loss for the Manchester Club.

The 31 year-old midfielder will be hoping that this episode puts an end to his injury-hit period, as he has not played a significant number of matches for his club for almost a year. A return to playing regular matches again should put him in good stead to regain his normal midfield position in the England team too. Whereas, should he suffer more injuries, supporters are bound to start asking how many more times he can recover his old level of performance before he becomes the next Owen Hargreaves, perennially expected to return but never quite making it.