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Mar 31, 2011

Dalglish cautious over Gerrard return

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish has revealed Steven Gerrard has almost completed his recovery after groin surgery, but he will wait and see whether the club captain will face West Brom on Saturday.

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Dalglish believes Gerrard could play in the match after participating in much of training this week, but will not take any risks - as he believes there are players in the squad more than capable of deputising for at least another week.

"We'll have a look. He's recovered really well from the surgery he had so we'll see how he is before we decide whether he's in or out," Dalglish said. "He's certainly done a lot of training this week - not all the training the other lads have done, but a lot of it.

"But two weekends ago at Sunderland wee Jay [Spearing] played really well. There is no need for us to be in a rush to bring Steven back."

Dalglish was relieved to see all his players return from international duty without picking up injuries. However, he did reveal Martin Kelly and Fabio Aurelio have suffered slight setbacks that could well keep them out of action at the weekend.

"Everyone has come back from international matches okay," Dalglish said. "Martin Kelly picked up an injury while he was trying to recuperate and Jonjo Shelvey is back training. Kelly has just had a wee recurrence in the same area. Fabio Aurelio has had a setback as well but it isn't the same injury. He should be training before the end of the week."

Club record signing Andy Carroll opened his goalscoring account for England in midweek, an achievement Dalglish believes the 22-year-old can rightfully be proud of. The Scot also paid tribute to Fabio Capello's handling of the Liverpool players he picked for both of the Three Lions' games.

"It's a great milestone for Andy to score his first goal, especially at Wembley," he said. "It's a great reward for him as well after his recuperation. It will give him a lift, kick him on further and it's a great reflection of how he's got on with his work and how our medical team has worked to get him there.

"The 60 minutes he got for England was very helpful in his recuperation and his fight to get back to full fitness. The way England treated our players was fantastic: the way they gave Andy the hour because they knew it wouldn't be beneficial to play him longer, and the way they gave Glen Johnson 45 minutes because he had a slight problem with his Achilles. They were very professional and respectful with the way they treated both of our players."

Dalglish admitted Liverpool are still working out how best to utilise Carroll tactically - especially the frequency of long balls played up to him.

"Sometimes when you're struggling a wee bit it's a great asset to have but we've got to pick and choose our moments," he noted. "It's up to us to get to know Andy, and Andy to get to know us. I don't think we've done too badly in the game and a bit he's played for us. We were better the second time than we were the first.

"We've got intelligent lads here and I'm sure they'll work out when's right and when's wrong and they'll get it right most of the time."

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