Agger 'very close' to return
Centre-back to play for Reds reserves on Thursday evening
By James Dall. Last Updated: January 9, 2008 7:02pm
Agger: Nearing return
Rafael Benitez has confirmed that Daniel Agger is 'very close' to making his long-awaited return to the Liverpool first-team.
The Dane broke his metatarsal last September, however is now closing in on a comeback.
Benitez has expressed his delight at the news, while admitting that they have missed the 23-year-old centre-back.
"For us it's like signing a new player. He is very close to starting a game for the first team," he said on the club's official website.
"The injury he had wasn't a bad one but we had problems also with Xabi Alonso, so we needed to be careful and we have missed him.
"We will be much better in the second part of this season."
Benitez also gave updates on Reds' other absentees, revealing that Steven Gerrard (calf) could return against Middlesbrough on Saturday, while confirming that full-backs Alvaro Arbeloa (calf) and Fabio Aurelio (hamstring) are both making good progress
"He (Gerrard) could be available for Saturday. He is improving a lot with the physios so he could be an option for the next game," Benitez concluded.