Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Aquilani is almost ready says Benitez

Alberto Aquilani has been making steady progress under the care and attention of Liverpool's medical staff, and the playmaker is on schedule to begin his Anfield career within two weeks. Speculation had suggested the new number 4 would make his first appearance next week against Sunderland, however a more realistic target is likely to be the Carling Cup clash against Arsenal on October 28. Reds boss Rafa Benitez is delighted with the Italians recovery and hopes Aquilani will take further big strides towards fitness during the international break.

“I have been speaking to the doctors and things are going well with him,” said Benitez in the Echo.

“Alberto is progressing all the time. It could be two to three weeks before he is back.

“But we need to use caution. If it is two weeks everyone will say ‘that is fantastic’ but if it is three, everyone will say it is not a problem. I think that we have to be careful.

“We will take it one step at a time and we have the international break to look forward to now. That will be good for him, as he will have some more time (to recover without missing any games).”

“He is running and swimming – I think he will have the record in the swimming pool by the end of his programme – and he is working in the gym,” said Benitez.

“He is doing almost everything and he is doing some things with the team. The only thing he is not doing is kick a ball – not yet anyway.”

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