Fernando Torres returned to full training with Liverpool today and is in line for a comeback at Blackburn on Saturday.
The Spanish striker has been undergoing three weeks of intense treatment on his serious groin injury and has only been involved in fitness work with the club’s physios up until now.
But today at the Melwood training complex, Liverpool’s top scorer took part in a full session, and the club were more than happy to post a selection of pictures of Torres’ work-out on their website.
And the next time Liverpool fans are likely to see Torres is in the squad that travels to Ewood Park to face a Blackburn side boosted by their Carling Cup quarter-final success against Chelsea.
The Blackburn match will be skipper Steven Gerrard’s 500th game for the club, and Liverpool could have their feared attacking partnership back together for the first time in 10 matches.
Torres has not figured for the Reds’ first team since the Champions League clash with Lyon on November 4 after picking up the problem on international duty.
Boss Rafael Benitez said: “The position over Torres is very positive and he was feeling good.
“We will see how he is in the next training sessions but it seems as though things are going well.”
Benitez expects to have something close to a fully-fit squad of players to choose from for the clash with Sam Allardyce’s side.
He said: “It will be very close to a fully-fit squad. We have two or three players with knocks but hopefully they are small things.
“It is always very positive but there is a big difference in players being available and being ready.
“When they are coming back from injuries, you have to be careful, but at least we will have options we didn’t have before.”
Liverpool have forced themselves into fifth place in the Premier League following their Merseyside derby victory at Everton last weekend and have now gone five games without defeat.
The Reds managed successive clean sheets for only the second time this season in victories over Debrecen in the Champions League and Everton in the past week.
Debrecen figured in Liverpool’s previous back-to-back clean sheets in September, when they also beat Burnley 4-0.
But it has been a torturous return to anything like their true form in recent weeks and, if they are to stay in close contention in the battle for the top four, they must win at Blackburn.
The Ewood Park club marched into the Carling Cup semi-finals against Aston Villa with a dramatic penalty shoot-out victory over Chelsea yesterday.
Rovers boss Allardyce missed that one as he continued his recovery from minor heart surgery but he will be back in the dug-out against Liverpool.
Blackburn have been beaten only once at home this season and they will be intent on giving Liverpool a severe test.
Liverpool’s England full-back Glen Johnson said: “We have had two clean sheets on the spin now and hopefully we have got a platform to build on when we go to Blackburn.
“We know that we haven’t been picking up the results that people associated with this club expect but there was no better place to start picking up points than at Goodison Park last weekend.
“Now we want to get on a good run. The next game is all that we can worry about but we want to be pushing up the table and hopefully we have made a start.”