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Andy Carroll not ready for Liverpool debut - Dalglish


Carroll 'not ready for debut' - Dalglish

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish has played down reports that striker Andy Carroll will be fit to make his debut in Sunday's game against West Ham.

Carroll, who joined Liverpool from Newcastle in January for a club record fee of £35m, has not featured for his new club because of a thigh problem.

Dalglish said: "He is close to full training. I don't think he's quite ready for a game yet.

"Andy's progress has been exactly what we'd anticipated."

Carroll, 22, has not played since Newcastle's 2-0 defeat by Tottenham on 28 December.

And Dalglish told the Liverpool's official website that "he's still got a bit to go before he'll be considered for a match".

Newcastle had sent Carroll to Dubai in the hope of accelerating his recovery with a warm-weather break and the forward had been due to visit a tendon repair specialist in Sweden before he moved to Liverpool on the final day of the January transfer window.

Dalglish, whose side face Sparta Prague in the second leg of their round of 32 Europa League tie at Anfield on Thursday, insisted he is being patient with his new signing.

"Andy has been involved with the lads for parts of the training but there's no need to get carried away, there's not going to be a surprise announcement that he's playing tomorrow night," added Dalglish.

"He has done very well. The first day he signed we said we would be patient with him and we will continue to do that. For us, he has done everything that has been asked of him."

Liverpool drew 0-0 in the first leg against Sparta Prague and Dalglish said he "might have a decision to make" regarding whether to play skipper Steven Gerrard, who has been struggling with a groin problem.

"He is that close that we might have a decision to make, whether we take a chance or leave him," revealed Dalglish. "We've not to come to that stage yet, but that could be what we're faced with tomorrow."

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see also
Liverpool 1-0 S Prague (agg 1-0)
24 Feb 11 |  Europe
Carroll unfazed by price tag
03 Feb 11 |  Football
New signing Carroll meets the Kop
02 Feb 11 |  Liverpool
Carroll's Reds debut 'weeks away'
01 Feb 11 |  Liverpool
Carroll seals switch to Liverpool
31 Jan 11 |  Liverpool

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