Reds quartet close to return

Gerrard, Kelly, Aurelio & Shelvey on road to recovery

Gerrard: Close to return

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Liverpool first-team coach Steve Clarke is hopeful Steven Gerrard, Martin Kelly, Fabio Aurelio and Jonjo Shelvey will return to training next week.

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Reds skipper Gerrard is currently recovering from groin surgery he underwent earlier this month.

Kelly has been out of action since picking up a hamstring problem in the defeat at West Ham, while Aurelio also suffered a hamstring strain in the 3-1 win over Manchester United.

Midfielder Shelvey has been out action since February after undergoing a knee operation.

The quartet are all making good progress with their injuries and Clark hopes they can step up their recoveries next week.

"They're all improving," Clarke told the club's official website.

"Fingers crossed, we will have Martin Kelly and Steven Gerrard back training by the middle of next week. We hope the same for Jonjo Shelvey, who has been out for a long time.

"Fabio Aurelio is also making good progress.

"They're our four longer-term injuries, the ones that have been causing us a bit of concern recently, but hopefully they'll all join in training next week."

Baggies return

Clarke is unsure if the quartet will be available to come back into the squad for Liverpool's clash at West Brom after the international break.

"We'll have to look at the situation when we get them back and see what shape they're in," added Clarke.

"If they're in contention (for West Brom) it's a bonus for us, but if they're not we've got other difficult matches coming up next month and if they're ready for them then it will be good for the football club."

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