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Page last updated at 12:44 GMT, Thursday, 23 December 2010

Steven Gerrard set for first Liverpool comeback

Steven Gerrard
Gerrard has watched from the Anfield stands since getting injured with England

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard will return from a six-week absence for the club's Boxing Day match at Blackpool.

His comeback from a hamstring tear sustained on England duty was delayed when heavy snow forced last Saturday's match against Fulham to be postponed.

"It is a big boost to have Gerrard back going into five games in 15 days," said manager Roy Hodgson. "It is a season-changing period for every team."

The 30-year-old midfielder has missed five games for Liverpool while injured.

The manner of his injury caused controversy as England manager Fabio Capello kept him on the pitch against France longer than had been intended.


He ended up pulling his hamstring before having to go off after 85 minutes in the 2-1 defeat on 17 November.

In the immediate aftermath, Capello was criticised on networking tool Twitter by Liverpool's fitness coach Darren Burgess, leading to a defence from the Italian coach over his decision.

Gerrard was absent for four Premier League games - which included home wins against West Ham and Aston Villa plus away defeats against Tottenham and Newcastle - as well as the Europa League draw with Steaua Bucharest.

"He would have been fit to play against Fulham as well," added Hodgson. "[But] it doesn't hurt to have an extra week to get some training in but what he needs now is matches.

"Daniel Agger is also fit so there are only two players unavailable to me, one of whom is Jay Spearing who suffered a break to his ankle and is a month away.

"Jamie Carragher [dislocated shoulder] is still nine weeks away from coming back, if we are to believe the doctors, but knowing Jamie it would not surprise me if those nine weeks became less than that."

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see also
Liverpool P-P Fulham
18 Dec 10 |  Premier League
Hodgson angry over Gerrard injury
19 Nov 10 |  Liverpool
Capello defends Gerrard decision
17 Nov 10 |  Football
Hodgson named new Liverpool boss
01 Jul 10 |  Liverpool

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