Liverpool midfielder Joe Allen is fit enough to be on the bench for Liverpool’s Barclays Premier League clash with West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns on Sunday, manager Brendan Rodgers has revealed in the pre-match press conference. Allen picked up an abductor injury in the match against Chelsea in late December, and made a brief return to action during the Reds’ 2-2 draw against Aston Villa after he replaced Lucas in the second half.
The Wales international missed the FA Cup Fourth Round trip to Bournemouth last weekend as well as the Merseyside derby victory over Everton on Tuesday. He will, however, be in contention to feature at the weekend and is sure to make the bench. On being asked about Allen, Rodgers said:
“Joe Allen will be back, which is great news. He’s looked very good in training and he’s a very important player back in for us.”
The manager also had positive news about right-back Glen Johnson, stating that his recovery was progressing well, although he did not put a timeline on the defender’s return.
“Glen is working really well. There’s no timeline on that yet, but he’s certainly working very hard with the medical team, so that’s coming along well.”
Fellow defenders Mamadou Sakho, Daniel Agger and Jose Enrique are also out injured. Enrique, who has been out of action since the 4-0 home victory over Fulham on November 9, had successfully undergone arthroscopic surgery to resolve an issue with his right knee later that month, and is reportedly closing in on a return. For the others, Rodgers could not mention any likely return date.
“Jose Enrique, we’ll just need to analyse. It was 10 weeks yesterday since the operation and we’d hoped he’d be a little bit further on in his recovery. So we just need to look at a strategy on that in terms of getting him back.
“Apart from that, the others are still out; Mamadou Sakho and Daniel Agger. As you saw in the last game, Jon Flanagan has come back from being out for a while, so we’re slowly getting there.”
However, Rodgers refused to throw any light on transfers when quizzed about possible signings on deadline day. When asked about the deal for Yehven Konoplyanka from Dnipro, he responded:
“The staff over there have done brilliant work with regards to trying to get the player.
“But we need to see how that develops over the course of the day. It’s all happened so quickly and the deadline is tight.
“We’ve had a list with a number of players on it, so we’ll see how it develops later.”