X

Monday 25
March

Liverpool

Ox closing in on Reds return

8th March 2019, 06:24 by Alex Jack

Liverpool's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will move closer to a return to first-team action with a 45-minute outing for the Under-23s.

The England international has been sidelined by a serious knee injury since last April but will step up his comeback with his first match action away at Derby in a Premier League 2 fixture.

"Probably it will be 45 minutes and that's absolutely OK," manager Jurgen Klopp told liverpoolfc.com.

"It is a bit difficult for Critch [Under-23s boss Neil Critchley] when the manager tells you to make a change at half-time but it's nice for Ox.

"All that we saw so far in training looks really good, it looks really exciting, but we all know it is a massive difference between each training session you have and playing a proper game.

"There is absolutely no expectation on the game (for him) apart from go through it, tick that box, come back and go on training again.

"It doesn't say anything about him 'being ready for five days later' or whatever, it is just a first - and very important - step.

"As I said, in training Ox is back but now we have to make sure we really prepare him for the rest of his career and the rest of this season."

After such a long lay-off Oxlade-Chamberlain will be eased back in and it is unlikely he will come into contention for a first-team squad place until after the international break later this month.

"He needs matches and as many as possible, but we are in the middle of the season and will not say now, 'You need six or seven matches until you are ready'," added Klopp.

"It is about getting him the experience again on the pitch, getting him back in this one and then using him minute-by-minute on the pitch.

"As long as all the other players are fit and stuff like that, we will have to see who can help the team more when he is finally back.

"What people make of that, he should not care. I don't care if people then say, 'Why is he not playing?' and stuff like that.

"I am really excited about it, but he was so long out that having him in training is already a massive difference.

"Let's see how he reacts. There is nothing to think about before the international break, which from now is around three weeks, so then let's see."

This article originated on sportinastorm.com

Alex Jack is a Yorkshireman with Scottish connections and well versed in a number of sports. A Leeds United supporter, who also enjoys both codes of rugby. Leeds Rhinos is where you can find him in the summer, while Alex is an avid supporter of Scottish rugby union.

More Liverpool

Liverpool

Alisson praises Liverpool's team spirit

25th March 2019, 15:44

Liverpool keeper Alisson believes the good feeling within the squad right now can lead the club to the Premier League title.

Liverpool

German duo want Liverpool star

25th March 2019, 05:30

Naby Keita could be heading back to Germany with Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund both keen to do a deal for the Liverpool star.

Liverpool

Chiesa linked to Reds as transfer talk hots up

24th March 2019, 17:36

Liverpool and Bayern Munich are reported to be rivals to Juventus and Inter Milan for the signature of Fiorentina's Federico Chiesa.

Liverpool

Reds duo winning fitness race

24th March 2019, 07:13

Naby Keita and Xherdan Shaqiri should be fit and available when Liverpool return to action against Tottenham.

Liverpool

Karius set for Mainz

23rd March 2019, 11:06

Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius will be allowed to move on and rejoin former club Mainz this summer.

Liverpool

Salah wanted in swap deal for Juve ace

23rd March 2019, 09:03

Liverpool ace Mohamed Salah is wanted by Juventus and the Italian giants are ready to offer cash and Paulo Dybala to land him.

Recent Sport Headlines

Watford

Watford helping me progress - Mukena

25th March 2019, 16:37

Defender Joy Mukena is confident he will keep improving at Watford if he keeps listening to the coaches.

Stoke City

Stoke eye Greek defender in U19 clash

25th March 2019, 16:30

Xanthi defender Dimitrios Meliopoulos impressed scouts from Stoke and Birmingham with his display against England Under-19s.

Birmingham City

Blues and Stoke eye Greek teenage star

25th March 2019, 16:29

Xanthi defender Dimitrios Meliopoulos impressed scouts from Birmingham and Stoke with his display against England Under-19s.

Tottenham Hotspur

Spurs looking at Argentina international

25th March 2019, 16:27

Tottenham are reportedly the latest club to consider making a move for Ajax left-back Nicolas Tagliafico.

Cricket

Hales highlights three dangerous teams for England

25th March 2019, 16:14

Alex Hales admits England are favourites to win the World Cup but says Pakistan, India and Australia will provide stiff opposition.

Manchester City

Guardiola to be boosted by returning midfielder

25th March 2019, 16:14

Kevin De Bruyne is on track to return to the fold for Manchester City's trip to Fulham on Saturday.

West Ham United

Wilshere lavishes praise on home supporters

25th March 2019, 16:12

West Ham's Jack Wilshere says the fantastic support at the London Stadium this season has been massive for the players.

Watford

Watford wonderkid bags Rio derby goal

25th March 2019, 16:07

Joao Pedro, who will join Watford next year, scored his first senior goal as Fluminense lost their Rio derby to Flamengo on Sunday.