Wayne Rooney has put himself in contention for a place on the bench against Liverpool tomorrow by returning to full training.
The 27-year-old, sidelined since suffering a knee injury in training on Christmas Eve, was given the all-clear to step up his rehabilitation by joining in with Manchester United's first-team training.
Although scans of the injury had shown no damage inside the knee, Rooney had been unable to train properly until this week after complaining of discomfort, but he has now overcome that.
United manager Alex Ferguson had suggested Rooney was most likely to return in Wednesday's FA Cup third-round replay against West Ham at Old Trafford. But, with the forward proving his fitness, he now has a chance of figuring in the squad for the Liverpool encounter.
Premier League leaders United face their traditional rivals with a 21-point gap between the two clubs, with Liverpool lying eighth.
However, Rodgers says his first-choice side is as good as United's, arguing it is consistency and lack of squad depth that separates the clubs. "We're as good as any team in the league, but we have to turn consistency into results," he said. (© Daily Telegraph, London)