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Suarez 'working his socks off'

Luis Suarez has been "working his socks off" and will be ready to face Manchester United next week, according to Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers.

Last Updated: 19/09/13 at 17:55 Post Comment   

Luis Suarez: Working hard in training

Luis Suarez: Working hard in training

Striker Suarez will be available for the first time this season after completing his 10-match ban for biting Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic in April.

He has been allowed to play international matches, and Rodgers says Suarez has been training hard for his return.

Suarez, who played 90 minutes in a friendly against Burnley in midweek, will be available for next Wednesday's Capital One Cup tie at Old Trafford.

"We have been organising some games behind closed doors, both in terms of in-house 11-a-side matches and bringing teams in," Rodgers told the Liverpool Echo.

"In between that, he has had international games as well to keep him ticking over. He has been doing a lot of individual work, specific to him on top of all that and replicating his high intensity speed runs that he would do in a game.

"It is not the same as playing in a match but say he did 100 high intensity runs in a game, he has been replicating that in training so that he is at a level where we hope he will hit the ground running.

"There are always other things in a game - the crowd and the anxiety, you cannot replicate that in training - but what you can at least do is get him to a level of fitness so that his numbers are replicated and that keeps him at a high level.

"The idea is that hopefully when he steps back in, it will be seamless. Of course, there will be a transitional period for him but I am really looking forward to having him back.

"He is working his socks off. At the end of sessions, he is having extra work tagged on relative to him and his position. He is flushing himself out to the maximum to be as fit as he possibly can."

Agger and Coutinho

Rodgers' squad has been stretched with vice-captain Daniel Agger the latest player added to a long injury-list at Anfield after sustaining a rib injury in training ahead of last Monday's Premier Leaguer encounter with Swansea .

The Liverpool manager explained his medical staff will monitor the Dane's fitness in preparation for Saturday's game against Southampton.

"We'll see how he is in the next 24 hours," Rodgers said.

"It's too early to say if he'll be ready for the weekend or not. It was just unfortunate it happened the day before the game. We're hopeful he'll be fine by the weekend."

Rodgers also updated reporters on the timescale of Philippe Coutinho's return to the side after the Brazilian required shoulder surgery after falling awkwardly under a challenge from Swansea captain Ashley Williams.

"He's only just having it today so the timescale from the medics is obviously up to six weeks," he said.

"We wouldn't anticipate any sooner than that. It's unfortunate for him because he's been in great form since he came here in January.

"Hopefully we'll get him back sooner rather than later and then he can come into the group again.

"These things happen in football. Hopefully he'll recover quickly and come back to us in good shape."

The Liverpool manager added: "It's just unfortunate that at this moment we have had a number of injuries that have all happened at the same time because the injury record we have had here has been very good but these are things you can't plan for and it's just something we have to deal with."

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