Belfast Telegraph

Monday 21 April 2014

Gerrard back in groove for Reds

Steven Gerrard

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard and £35million record signing Andy Carroll both returned to pre-season training alongside one player who was back at Melwood for the first time in almost a year.

Gerrard missed the last two and a half months of the season after a groin operation in March but did some work away from the main group as he continued his rehabilitation. Carroll struggled for fitness after arriving in January from Newcastle with a thigh problem but he was involved with the rest of the squad.

Defender Martin Kelly, whose season was ended by a hamstring in February, was also involved as was Daniel Agger, who was sidelined with a knee injury from early April. Also training was Alberto Aquilani, back at the club after a year out on loan at Juventus.

The Serie A club did not take up their option to sign the Italy international and although he has returned to Merseyside he is thought to be one of a number of players manager Kenny Dalglish is looking to offload to free up space on the wage bill to bring in more new signings.

Also believed to be on that list are Christian Poulsen and Joe Cole and they too were put through their paces in the sunshine at Melwood.

Vice-captain Jamie Carragher is keen to pick up where last season left off. He said: "We've had longer than usual off this year and I want to get started now.

"It's a new start and there's a new sense of optimism. It's going to be great to have most of the players around from the start of pre-season.

"Our form in the second half of last season was very good and we need to ensure we prepare well and get off to a decent start this season.

"It's good for the manager to have everyone around and it means after a decent pre-season we should be ready to start the season.

"It will be great to see all the lads again and I'm sure there will be a few new faces coming in before the transfer window closes."

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