Key star back in training as Liverpool return is pencilled in

Dejan Lovren has handed Liverpool a timely lift by returning to training – with the defender in line to return to action by the weekend if he comes through the next few days with no complications.

The Croatian has not featured for the Reds since sustaining a hamstring injury in the Champions League clash with RB Salzburg on December 10 – and has missed the last 10 matches as a result.

But his return to training will further boost Reds boss Jurgen Klopp, who has seen Fabinho and Joel Matip also come back into the reckoning in recent weeks following periods on the sidelines.

Lovren won’t be considered for Thursday’s difficult Premier League trip to face Wolves on Thursday night, but could come into the equation when Liverpool travel to Shrewsbury in the FA Cup fourth round on Sunday.

With Lovren sidelined during the busy festive period and Matip also sidelined by a knee complaint, Liverpool were left with just the ever-reliable Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez as defensive options, forcing Klopp to recall youngster Nat Phillips from a loan spell at VfB Stuttgart.

However, Lovren’s return to training is a timely lift for Liverpool as they assume their push towards Premier League title glory at Molineux.

That leaves just Naby Keita (groin), James Milner (hamstring) and Xherdan Shaqiri as Liverpool absentees ahead of another busy run of games.

Lovren will be hoping to stay injury-free and play a leading role for the Reds in the closing months of the season as Liverpool chase glory on three fronts.

The defender admitted earlier this season he’s struggling with the lack of playing time at Anfield with competition so fierce for the right to partner Van Dijk in the heart of defence.



“That is part of the job, to work hard behind the scenes even if you don’t get a chance,” he said.

“I always believed in myself and giving 100 per cent on the training ground. The boss sees it and in the end it is his decision who plays or not. I am a fighter.

“The key point is to be patient. There are players who are patient and there are players who are not patient…I am struggling. It is part of the game and you need to accept it.

“You are fighting with yourself and your character and it is not good to have sometimes this part of the game where you think ‘OK, I am easy (comfortable) inside’.

“It doesn’t work like that. It is always about fighting and the fighting spirit.”

Liverpool, meanwhile, have been tipped as leading suitors to sign a Manchester United linked midfielder, compared to Paul Pogba.