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By ESPN Staff

Aurelio closing in on Liverpool return

Liverpool's Brazilian full-back Fabio Aurelio aims to prove his fitness this week in time for a possible return to first-team action for key domestic and European matches.

Liverpool face promoted Burnley at Anfield on Saturday, and are at home to Hungarian side Debrecen in their opening Champions League group match next Wednesday.

Aurelio has yet to play this term, having spent the last few months recovering from a cartilage operation. He damaged his knee in a kickabout with friends while on holiday in Brazil earlier in the summer.

But he will play in a practice match on Thursday intent on proving he is fit for a comeback. Aurelio said: "I am feeling good and working hard to try and get back into the squad for Saturday.

"The international break came at a good time for me because I have been able to work hard and not miss too many more games. I'm playing in a practice game on Thursday and I hope to prove my fitness and be involved against Burnley. I have been training for three weeks now and I can't wait to get back."

Aurelio added: "The injury could not have come at a worse time. I was with my brother-in-law and some friends playing football and joking around and suddenly I felt something strange in my knee.

"I called my old team Sao Paulo and they examined the knee and found there was a cartilage injury. I then phoned Liverpool and got permission to get the knee operated on. It was my holiday and I spent the rest of the time recovering.

"The good thing is it feels fine now, I am now back and hoping to help the team. I played in a practice game last week and I felt good."

In his absence, Argentinian youngster Emiliano Insua has taken the left-back berth, and Aurelio knows he faces tough competition for a place in the team.

He said: "He is playing really well and he was also good last season so he has a lot of confidence.

"Seeing how well he is doing is not a surprise to me or my team-mates, working with him every day you can see he is a player with quality and can do a very good job for the team.

"We have three left-backs with Emiliano, myself and Andrea Dossena so we all have to keep working hard and make it a difficult decision for the manager."

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