Liverpool's injury problems have eased with the news that Milan Baros and Jamie Carragher should be available again by the end of the month.
Baros and Carragher, who both broke legs in Liverpool's Premiership win at Blackburn in September, are hoping to step up their recoveries by playing for the reserves in the next couple of weeks.
Carragher, who suffered his injury at Ewood Park in a tackle with Lucas Neill, has been in full training since the middle of December and the full-back is expected to play for the reserves on 13 January against Everton. The Czech striker Baros returned to training this week and is hoping to face Wolves' reserves a week later.
The return of the pair will be a boost for their manager, Gérard Houllier, who has Michael Owen close to fitness after three months out while Stéphane Henchoz made his first appearance since early November in last weekend's draw at Manchester City.
Steven Gerrard misses Sunday's FA Cup tie at Yeovil and probably Wednesday's League game at Chelsea with a groin problem, but Houllier believes his squad is approaching full strength.
"This week has been the first time Milan has been able to kick a ball but he still has some way to go before he will be back," he said. "Jamie Carragher will definitely be ready for our reserve game on 13 January, if not sooner, but that will be too early for Milan."
There were fears that Baros would need a second operation to remove a pin from his leg, but that has been averted. Baros said: "I started kicking the ball again on Monday. I am working on my own at the moment but in the next two weeks I am hoping I will be able to join in full training with the other lads."Reuse content