Liverpool FC received positive team news as Rodgers confirmed that defensive midfielder Lucas Leiva and Mamadou Sakho both returned to training at Melwood.
Lucas has been sidelined for the last six weeks with the knee injury he picked up against Aston Villa last month, while a hamstring injury has kept Sakho out of action since December.
Although Saturday’s trip to Southampton would be too early for Brazilian Lucas, Sakho, who joined this summer from PSG would be assessed before the match so that a final decision about his inclusion in the squad could be made.
Rodgers told reporters in the pre-match conference:
“We’ve obviously had a couple of players return to training. Young Sakho has trained this week, which has been great. We’ll see if it’s too early for him this weekend.
“And Lucas Leiva rejoined the group today, which was great. Jose Enrique is still out, but apart from that we don’t have any major injuries now.”
The Northern Irishman spoke about left back Jose Enrique’s situation in depth, as the ex-Newcastle player has not featured for the Reds since the beginning of November.
“It has just been ongoing. He has obviously got the issue with his knee; he has come back after a good spell in America.
“He is rehabilitating well here. There’s no timeline on it. I trust the medical team here, they are very good, and they’ll advise me when he’s nearly fit.”
The return of Sakho should be a major boost for Liverpool as the tinkering back four has costed Liverpool a lot in the defence department. Liverpool have been criticized for making too many errors in the back and conceding cheap goals. Rodgers too, spoke after the last ‘nervy’ match against Swansea, that the club needed to eliminate these mistakes and work better defensively:
“Up to now we’ve got away with it. But at times we concede poor goals – it is mistakes or decision making that’s costing us.”
Hence Liverpool and Rodgers would be glad that Sakho is close to returning for the club as it seemed that the Liverpool manager preferred the centre back combination of Skrtel and Sakho. Even if the Frenchman does not make his return for this match, he would probably be completely fit for the next match, which definitely is great news for the club.