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By ESPN Staff

Gerrard set to make early return from injury

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard could make an earlier-than-expected return from a hamstring injury against Manchester City on Sunday. The England midfielder suffered the tear in the Merseyside derby on February 4 and was initially expected to be out for three weeks - with the Champions League clash with Real Madrid thought to be his most likely target.

But manager Rafael Benitez has opened the door for a potential return from the bench at the weekend.

The Spaniard said: "He is improving. In these situations each day is important. He is working with the medical staff and is progressing.

"Normally he is a player who recovers quickly. He needs less time than other players," Benitez told Liverpool's official website.

"I was surprised because the Spanish press said he'd play some minutes this weekend and then play against Real Madrid, but the truth is we don't know yet.

"Maybe he could be on the bench against City but we don't know.

"He wants to play every single game. He knows the game against City will be very important, and also the Real Madrid one too."

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