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By ESPN Staff

Torres edges closer to Liverpool return

Fernando Torres could return from injury in Liverpool's game at Blackburn on Saturday, lining up with captain Steven Gerrard for the first time in 10 matches. Liverpool could have their feared attacking partnership back together for Gerrard's 500th match for the club.

Torres has not figured since the Champions League clash with Lyon on November 4 following a problem sustained on international duty, but the striker is close to returning to full training after treatment for a serious groin injury. Manager Rafael Benitez will give the striker every chance of taking on Blackburn, who beat Chelsea in the Carling Cup quarter-finals last night.

"The feedback we had about Torres yesterday was very positive and he was feeling good," said Benitez. "We will see how he is in the next training sessions, but it seems as though things are going well.''

Asked whether the Spain international could face Rovers, Benitez said: "It depends on how he feels during the week. He has to keep training with the fitness coach, but if he is feeling better maybe he can be involved in normal training sessions and afterwards we can decide.''

Benitez expects to have something close to a full squad of players to choose from for the clash with Sam Allardyce's side.

"We have two or three players with knocks, but hopefully they are small things," he said. "It is always very positive (to have a fully fit squad), but there is a big difference in players being available and being ready.

"When they are coming back from injuries you have to be careful, but at least we will have options we didn't have before.''

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