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Alberto Moreno targets UCL spot

Liverpool 11 hours ago
Read
 Posted by Mike Whalley
Aug 21, 2013

Martin Kelly targets Liverpool comeback

Liverpool’s Martin Kelly believes he is "six to eight weeks away" from a return to full fitness as he steps up his recovery from a long-term knee injury.

Martin Kelly is close to making a return for Liverpool.
Martin Kelly is targeting a place in England's World Cup squad next summer.

• Usher: Benefits of U21 league

Kelly played a full 90 minutes for the first time in 11 months on Monday as Liverpool beat Manchester United 4-2 at Salford in the Under-21 Premier League.

The 23-year-old defender captained the side as one of three permitted over-age outfield players in coach Alex Inglethorpe’s side.

And his next aim is to get himself back into contention for a place in Brendan Rodgers’ first-team squad.

"It’s all the hard work that starts now and in the next six to eight weeks I should get back to that fitness," he told Liverpool’s official website.

Kelly missed almost the whole of last season after suffering cruciate knee ligament damage during the 2-1 Premier League defeat at home to Manchester United on September 23.

He made his return with a nine-minute appearance in their first pre-season friendly, at Preston on July 13.

The defender travelled with Liverpool on their three-match tour of the Far East, and appeared in a behind-closed-doors friendly against Newcastle last Wednesday, before playing a full match at centre-back on Monday.

He said: "It was good to get the first 90 minutes under my belt after so long.

"I played last week in a behind closed doors friendly but to get 90 minutes for the Under-21s was superb for me and my fitness."

The return to fitness of Kelly, who started last season at right-back for Liverpool but can also play in central defence, comes as Sebastian Coates faces up to a lengthy absence with a similar injury.

Uruguay’s FA has confirmed that Coates will have surgery on Friday after tearing a knee ligament while on international duty.

Kelly, who went to Euro 2012 with England as a late call-up after Chelsea’s Gary Cahill suffered a broken jaw, said in July that he had an eye on winning a place at next summer’s World Cup finals in Brazil, should Roy Hodgson’s men qualify.

But for the time being, his focus is on getting fit with his club Under-21 side. He said: "I just want to get as many games in as I can.

"I missed so much last season and it’s difficult mentally coming back from 11 months out and knowing you are not where you were last pre-season, because I started the last pre-season flying and that’s where I want to get back to."

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