Belfast Telegraph

Dalglish won't rush Gerrard

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish insists the club are taking a common sense approach to Steven Gerrard's long-awaited return from injury.

It seems the captain is unlikely to be ready to face Tottenham at White Hart Lane on Sunday but could be brought back for his first appearance since March in the Carling Cup tie at Brighton on Wednesday. The England midfielder has not featured since having a groin operation six months ago.

"Steven is progressing very well, Martin Kelly is back training and Fabio (Aurelio) is close to coming back to joining us also," said the Scot. "We will pick and choose when it is best suited for Steven, whichever games suits him best. We will analyse his recovery and how the progress is; we will do the same for Martin Kelly as we will do for Steven."

"We will just see what is right for Steven. There is no rush from us or from him because it has to be common sense. Everyone who is asked to play will be fit enough to play."

Dalglish's only real injury concern is defender Glen Johnson, who made his first appearance of the season as a substitute in the 1-0 defeat at Stoke on Saturday only to suffer a recurrence of a hamstring problem which he sustained in the Reds' final friendly at home to Valencia over a month ago.

Suggestions are the England defender could be out for another four weeks but Dalglish said they were still waiting for medical reports to determine the extent of the injury.

"We've only got Glen Johnson (injured) really. We are just waiting for some tests to come back and wait for the results," he added.

In the wake of that Stoke defeat Dalglish voiced his frustration at a number of decisions which he believes have gone against his side this season. He met Mike Riley, general manager of Professional Game Match Officials Ltd, on Monday and felt it had been a useful exercise.

"Everyone can speak to Mike Riley. He was coming here any way so it never made any difference," said the Reds boss. "He is very approachable and will speak to any manager who wants to speak with him. It is not as if we've had any preferential treatment. Mike will visit all the clubs and so he should, we should all work together.

"We want to continue treating them (referees) with respect and dignity and I don't think we have failed on that point. They say it evens itself out over the season - so we've got a lot to look forward to I think. But decisions are going to go against us in the future, they are going to go against everyone at some stage."

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