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Torres expected to return against Baggies

Liverpool striker Fernando Torres now seems almost certain to make his comeback from a hamstring strain in Liverpool's domestic clash with West Brom at Anfield on Saturday.

The striker has not played since the last international break on October 15 but both Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez and captain Steven Gerrard are confident the 24-year-old will return against the midlands side.

Benitez said: "I believe Torres will be ready for the West Brom game at the weekend. It all depends on Fernando, he was not happy with his fitness so he did not play against Atletico.

"He said he was not confident, so you cannot take any risks with a hamstring injury.

"I will talk to the player during the rest of the week to see how he is after each training session. But I will also talk with the physio and the doctor for their view. But how Fernando feels will be the key."

And Gerrard, who grabbed the penalty equaliser against Atletico, cannot wait to see Torres back in action.

He said: "Hopefully Fernando will be ready come the weekend, we have missed him. He has been training all week and things look hopeful.

"We need to take three points against West Brom, but (Saturday's 2-1 reverse to Tottenham) has been our only defeat this season and we are more than happy with the way the season has gone so far."

If Torres again fails to make the squad to face the Baggies, Liverpool must decide whether to give him a run-out in the Carling Cup trip to Spurs next Tuesday, with a trip to Bolton on the Saturday, November 15.

Torres has another international break approaching fast with Spain having a home friendly against Chile at Villarreal's stadium on November 19 which may put his club on a collision course with Spain's FA. Torres has returned from international duty with an injury three times in the last eighteen months.

Benitez has been in talks with the Spanish FA over Torres' treatment while he is with the national squad and a set of special exercises have been drawn up for him to carry out each day to help the hamstring heal properly.


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