Benayoun boost for Benitez

Benayoun boost for Benitez

Midfielder Yossi Benayoun has given Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez a welcome fitness boost by returning to training after a broken rib.

The Israel international has not played since sustaining the injury late on in the FA Cup fourth-round replay defeat at home to Reading on January 13.

At the time Benitez said he expected Benayoun to be sidelined for a month and so his recovery is on schedule.

However, the Reds boss has consistently stressed he will not rush back players - Fernando Torres and Glen Johnson are also out with knee injuries – and Benayoun will be no different.

“Yossi was training with the team,” Benitez told liverpoolfc.tv. “Still we have to be careful with his rib but he was training.”

It is unlikely Benayoun will be involved in Thursday’s Europa League tie at home to Unirea Urziceni but there is a possibility he could be in the squad for their crucial Barclays Premier League clash at Manchester City, their main rivals for fourth place, a week on Sunday.

Having lost to Arsenal in midweek – ending a seven-match unbeaten run - Liverpool are above fifth-placed City only on goal difference having played two matches more and defeat at Eastlands would seriously damage their bid for Champions League qualification.

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