Mellor ready to return
By Paul Higham
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Liverpool's Neil Mellor is closing in on a return to action after his knee problems.Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez could have striking reinforcements back in action sooner than expected as Neil Mellor, Fernando Morientes and Harry Kewell all progress ahead of schedule.
Spanish marksman Morientes picked up a hamstring injury on international duty, but he is recovering well and could even make Saturday's trip to Birmingham.
Kewell could return to action against Leeds in the reserves as the Australian also continues to recover well, while young striker Mellor is finally returning to fitness.
The 22-year-old has not played since January after undergoing an operation on both knees to cure tendonitis - but his recovery has taken longer than expected.
Mellor had a good taste of first team action last term and bagged five goals in 11 starts for the European champions.
After such a long spell on the sidelines, Mellor could finally get back into the action in a reserve outing at the start of November.
"I hope to be back in training within two weeks," said Mellor.
"After that, I'm hoping I'll be playing again by the end of October or start of November. There's a reserve game against Manchester City on November 1 and that's the one I'm looking at.
"It's been a frustrating period for me. When I had the operation I was originally hoping to be fit for pre-season, but it's taken a lot longer to heal than I thought.
"There have been times when it's been difficult and I felt gutted to be out so long.
"Now I feel great and there's no pain at all so I'm really looking forward to playing again."