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Thursday, February 22, 2024

Liverpool handed Andy Robertson boost after injury update on quartet

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Football

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Andy Robertson could make his Liverpool comeback in the Carabao Cup semi-final against Fulham after being sidelined for more than three months.

The Scotland captain has undergone surgery on a dislocated shoulder that he sustained on international duty in October and has missed Liverpool’s last 20 games.

But the left-back will be in the squad for the game at Craven Cottage, with Liverpool taking a 2-1 lead after the first leg at Anfield two weeks ago.

Trent Alexander-Arnold, recovering from a knee injury, and Dominik Szoboszlai, contending with a hamstring problem, will not be involved against Fulham but each could return in Sunday’s FA Cup tie against Norwich.

Liverpool assistant manager Pep Lijnders said: “Robbo trained yesterday with the team. It’s now 13 weeks, he had his meeting with the surgeon to make sure that everything is right to go into full contact – it’s clear. So he did a lot of work and really good rehab throughout the last period, so he’s fit in terms of sports science. Now he has to get fit with proper team training.

“So that’s a big, big advantage to have him back. We were waiting for a long time – he’s one of our captains. I just met him in the canteen and he said: ‘Pep, I have my tracksuit with me.’ So he’s pushing himself into the squad, so that’s good. He will travel. “Is he available to play? Yes. The medical team said it is a coaching decision, so he is in.”

Joe Gomez has been deputising at left-back with both Robertson and Kostas Tsimikas injured and Lijnders said the Greece international, who broke his collarbone, could resume first-team training in two weeks’ time.

Alexander-Arnold has a knee injury and Lijnders added: “Trent is progressing well through his rehab, working hard. But he will back in the end of the week for team training so hopefully he will be available for the FA Cup.”

Szoboszlai has missed Liverpool’s last three games with a hamstring problem and they had initially hoped the Hungary captain would be able to face Fulham, but Lijnders said: “Dom trained yesterday with us, just one small-sided game, one-touch game, but he played good, felt good and did some extra work with the sports science team. He is ready but tomorrow comes too early for him, so he will be ready for the weekend if nothing goes wrong.”

Liverpool left-back Andy Robertson is recovering after undergoing surgery on a shoulder problem

(PA)

Liverpool received a boost with Curtis Jones, who came off in Sunday’s 4-0 win at Bournemouth with a knock, passed fit to keep his place.

But Mohamed Salah has been ruled out for up to a month with a hamstring injury sustained in the African Cup of Nations.

“It’s expected [he will] return in three to four weeks if everything goes smooth,” said Lijnders. “It will go smooth and it will go right because of how we’ve treated his body before.”

Liverpool’s top scorer has been criticised in Egypt for returning to England for treatment, but Lijnders defended him.

“The one you should never doubt the commitment of is Mo Salah,” he added. “I know the country is devastated to lose him. He is massive. The only reason ours and their medical team decided for him to come back is to give the best chance to make the final if Egypt reach it.”

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