Hodgson hopes for Gerrard return

Roy Hodgson is hoping Steven Gerrard can train today with a view to making his comeback against Fulham at the weekend.

The Reds skipper has been absent since injuring a hamstring on November 17 in England's friendly defeat to France.

The game against Fulham was earmarked as a likely date for his return and that remains the case, although Hodgson will insist he gets some training under his belt beforehand.

"Steven's on track for the weekend," Hodgson told Liverpoolfc.tv.

"He's worked very hard to get back and Steven and Jamie Carragher are the type who hate not playing.

"Steven has been determined to get back as quickly as possible and the physios are happy with him and he feels quite good."

Hodgson is adamant he won't take any risks with his star man, however.

"The big question when a player has a hamstring injury or a slight pull is when do you actually say he is totally fit and give him the go-ahead to play?" he said.

"We have to be careful there is no risk of the injury reoccurring and I am in the hands to some extent of the sports science people as to when he can come back.

"I take their word for it and I can't really push the subject because I would be devastated if we brought him back too early, but he still hopes he will be fit to play some part in the game against Fulham and so am I."

Gerrard will definitely not come into contention for tomorrow night's Europa League clash against FC Utrecht at Anfield.

"We are training on Tuesday, Wednesday is a day off for those who won't be playing against Utrecht and if he is going to start the game against Fulham I definitely want him back training with us on Thursday, that's for sure," he added.

"That's the deadline but I am still hopeful he can take some part in our training today."