Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Gerrard all geared up for City clash

Steven Gerrard today gave Liverpool a major boost as the skipper revealed he is ready to relaunch his season against Manchester City.

The Reds’ talisman has been limited to just 70 minutes on the pitch since he injured his groin during England’s 1-0 defeat in Ukraine on October 10.

Rafa Benitez raised the suggestion last month surgery might be required to solve the problem but, fortunately for Gerrard and his manager, that option has been avoided.

He has responded to treatment at Melwood since being pressed into emergency action against Birmingham last Monday and Gerrard – who scored a crucial penalty in that 2-2 draw – is now ready to step up another level this weekend.

“I felt very tired after the game, as I wasn’t really ready to return (against Birmingham) and I’d done very little training in the three weeks beforehand,” said Gerrard.

“It took me two or three days to recover from that game but I have spent the past week doing strengthening work but I’m feeling a lot better now. I’m looking forward to the weekend. There’s no mental hurdle to cross.

“I’ve had a problem in my groin that has taken a while to get over but I’m just relieved the second injection seems to have done the trick.

“It’s a case of so far so good and the aim now is to make sure I get a good week’s training under my belt so I’m ready for the game with City.”

While the problem in his groin has caused him discomfort, the situation during the past month has been exacerbated by Liverpool’s indifferent run of form.

It has been a huge frustration to Gerrard that he has been unable to help the Reds in their hour of need but his imminent return to action could not be more timely.

Apart from facing City on Saturday, the Reds have a must win Champions League trip to Debreceni on the horizon along with a Merseyside derby at Goodison Park on November 29.

First up, though, Gerrard wants to get the weekend out of the way and improve his physical condition for the important weeks ahead.

“Some of the lowest points in my career have come about when I have had to miss big games for Liverpool and England through injury,” Gerrard admitted.

“It’s never easy when you have to sit out games against Manchester United or trips away from home in the Champions League.

“If the lads are winning games and doing well, it makes the pain a bit easier so obviously the last couple of weeks have been extra frustrating.”

“But I’m feeling good now, a lot stronger than before and it’s just a question of getting my match sharpness back now. That is the most important thing.”

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