Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is scheduled to take a significant step in his recovery from a serious knee injury with a comeback appearance for Liverpool’s under-23s on Friday.

The midfielder has been out since last April when he damaged cruciate and medial ligaments, plus the tendons to his hamstring, in the Champions League semi-final first leg against Roma. The severity of the injury was kept from Liverpool’s players at the request of Oxlade-Chamberlain until their European campaign was over.

Jürgen Klopp admitted last July that it would be a bonus should the 25-year-old make a competitive appearance for the club this season but the England international is on course to beat the anticipated 12-month lay-off. He has been training with Liverpool’s first-team squad for several weeks – “70% of team training then he leaves a bit early to do something else and the things he needs,” his manager said last week – and is set to play against Derby County for the under-23s on Friday.

Liverpool had considered Oxlade-Chamberlain for the “mini-derby” with Everton on Monday night but opted against a comeback in a more charged contest with their local rivals. The midfielder will be involved for Neil Critchley’s team at Derby instead as he eyes making an unexpected but much welcome return for Liverpool before the end of their title-chasing season.

Source: The Guardian

This story has been reproduced from the media. It does not necessarily represent the position of Liverpool Football Club.