Torres fit for derby
Published 14/10/2010 | 16:40
Liverpool striker Fernando Torres has been declared fit to face Everton in Sunday's Merseyside derby at Goodison Park.
The Spain international sustained an adductor strain early in the 2-1 home defeat to Blackpool on October 3 and was considered a doubt for what has become an increasingly significant match.
However, manager Roy Hodgson has been boosted by the return of the 26-year-old, as well as left-back Paul Konchesky who strained a hamstring in the 2-2 draw with Sunderland late last month.
However, forward Dirk Kuyt will be out for three to four weeks with an ankle problem sustained on international duty.
"Konchesky has made a good recovery as has Fernando Torres so all being well we can welcome those two back," said Hodgson.
"Fernando's season needs to kick-start, he's been hampered a bit by injuries and what happened at the World Cup.
"We see a livelier and a better Fernando every day. It was really unfortunate he got that injury against Blackpool but luckily it came in the international break so he won't miss any more league games for us.
"We get two good ones back, but lose a good one in Kuyt."
Even though Kuyt will be absent on Sunday his injury news is better than expected after reports suggested the 30-year-old could be out until the new year after he landed awkwardly during Holland's Euro 2012 qualifying victory over Sweden on Tuesday.
"The initial rumours coming out of Holland were that it was going to be a really long injury, maybe months," added Hodgson.
"But our doctor and our sports science people are much more optimistic.
"They think it is more likely to be one month - or if we are lucky three weeks.
"He seriously twisted his ankle with ligament damage and we are going to miss him for some matches - that's for sure."
Kuyt has a record for quick recovery, having come back at least a week early from a shoulder injury also sustained while on international duty to play against Sunderland last month.
And, although the player will miss this weekend's crucial Merseyside derby at Goodison Park, Hodgson is hopeful he will not be without Kuyt for too long.
"He does recover very quickly and the thing about Dirk is that he is always anxious to get back on the football field," added the Reds boss.
"If it can done in three weeks it will be three. If it can be two he'll do it in two - but we are looking at a lay-off.
"It's disappointing because it is the second time he has gone away with the national team and come back and missed weeks for us."
Hodgson could also welcome Fabio Aurelio - who has not played since August 26 - back into his squad after his recovery from an Achilles tendon problem but Daniel Agger remains a doubt after sustaining a back injury playing for Denmark.
"Aurelio has made a good recovery and could be considered at the weekend," said Hodgson.
"He's been out for so long it would be unlikely I would use him, but medically-speaking he is physically fit to be selected.
"Agger missed two weeks with the injury he picked up after Sunderland but recovered in order to go and play for Denmark, where he got injured again.
"I don't know what the state of play is with him yet."