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Page last updated at 10:45 GMT, Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Gerrard could make early return

Steven Gerrard
Gerrard has scored 11 goals for Liverpool in the league this season

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard could face Manchester City on Sunday after making a quicker-than-expected recovery from a hamstring injury.

The 28-year-old suffered a tear during the FA Cup defeat by Everton on 4 February and faced three weeks out.

But Reds manager Rafael Benitez told the club's website: "He needs less time to recover than other players.

"Maybe he could be on the bench against City but we don't know. He wants to play every single game."

The midfielder has already missed his side's Premier League victory over Portsmouth and England's friendly defeat by Spain.

Torres is united back4 basher
He had been believed to be eyeing a comeback for the Champions League tie against Real Madrid on 25 February.

Benitez added: "He is improving. He is working with the medical staff and is progressing well. Normally he is a player who recovers quickly.

"He knows the game against City will be very important, and also the Real Madrid one, too."

Liverpool will fall five points behind leaders Manchester United if their rivals beat Fulham on Wednesday.

And United would stretch their advantage to eight points if they overcome Blackburn on Saturday.

An early return by Gerrard would be a massive boost for the Anfield club as they try to close the gap on the champions.

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see also
More charges in Gerrard bar case
17 Feb 09 |  England
Portsmouth 2-3 Liverpool
07 Feb 09 |  Premier League
Everton 1-0 Liverpool (aet)
04 Feb 09 |  FA Cup
Moyes elated after derby triumph
05 Feb 09 |  Football

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