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FA Cup fifth round draw

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Rodgers hopes for Cole return

Brendan Rodgers is hopeful that Liverpool winger Joe Cole will make a quick return from a hamstring injury.

• Fans want chief exec in Liverpool

Cole, 30, has been out of action since pulling up during the 3-0 opening day defeat at West Brom on August 18.

The England international, who returned to Anfield in the summer after a season's loan with French club Lille, was back in light training over the weekend.

Rodgers will assess the former Chelsea man during the international break before deciding whether to use him for the trip to Sunderland on September 15.

The manager told Liverpool's official website: "Joe is working well and the medical department are pleased with his progress. He was out onto the pitch over the weekend doing some work so there's still a little way to go with Joe yet but he's on the right track."

Rodgers is also hopeful that Moroccan winger Oussama Assaidi will soon recover from a groin problem in order to make his Liverpool debut.

The 24-year-old, a £3 million signing from Heerenveen, was scheduled to figure as an over age player in the Under-21 Premier League match against Manchester City on Monday, but was forced to withdraw due to the injury. Rodgers is optimistic that Assaidi will make the trip to the Stadium of Light.

"He was due to play in the reserve game, but after training he felt a little bit of tightness," Rodgers revealed. "We're hoping in the next couple of days he'll be ready to train and rejoin the group."

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