Steven Gerrard is 10 days away from a return to full training as he steps up his recovery from a hamstring injury, Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers says.
Gerrard was ruled out for six weeks after limping off during his side’s 4-1 Premier League victory over West Ham on Dec. 7.
The Liverpool captain has resumed light training, with a view to returning to action in the New Year.
Rodgers is unlikely to risk him for the FA Cup third-round tie at home to Oldham on Jan. 5, but there is a possibility that Gerrard will be available for the Premier League matches away to Stoke on Jan. 12 and at home to Aston Villa on Jan. 18.
The manager said: "Steven’s working really well on the field. Of our injured players, he may be the one who comes back a little sooner because his work has been excellent. He’s been getting round-the-clock treatment.
"He’s already back running and kicking a ball. Hopefully in the next week to 10 days we’ll have him back training with us fully."
Full-back Jon Flanagan, though, is expected to miss Liverpool’s next three games with the hamstring problem that forced him off during last Saturday’s 3-1 win over Cardiff.
The 20-year-old has filled in for the last six games at left-back as Jose Enrique recovers from knee surgery that will keep him out until February.
Flanagan, normally a right-back, is set to miss the Boxing Day trip to Manchester City, Sunday’s visit to Chelsea and the New Year’s Day home game against Hull City.
One option for Rodgers is to switch right-back Glen Johnson across to the left and give Martin Kelly a first start since he suffered cruciate knee ligament damage 15 months ago.
"It looks as if Jon will be out for a number of weeks with a strain," Rodgers said. "It’s a blow because Jon has been brilliant for us since he came into the side."