Degen winning fitness battle
Swiss full-back targets starting spot
By Chris Burton. Last Updated: October 16, 2008 11:28am
Degen: Close to first team return
Philipp Degen hopes to have laid his injury woes to rest and is ready to battle for a starting role at Liverpool.
The Switzerland international has been restricted to a single competitive start since arriving at Anfield as a free agent over the summer.
A series of knocks, the latest being broken ribs sustained during a Carling Cup clash with Crewe in September, have hindered his progress.
He is, however, now on the road to recovery and has set his sights on the right-back spot currently occupied by Alvaro Arbeloa.
"I hope I can soon be 100 per cent. I want to get on the pitch as quickly as possible - maybe it will be in the next one or two weeks," the 25-year-old told Liverpool's official website.
"Last week it was not so good. I was in a lot of pain but at the moment I'm training very well. I had two fractured ribs and a punctured lung.
"It's been very tough. I just want to play for this club and in front of these fans.
"This is new to me. I had an injury for six months before I came to Liverpool, but up until that point I'd never been injured. I was the type of player who played every game.
"I hope the injuries are over now."
Degen added: "I have to work hard every day and show the boss (Rafa Benitez) what I can do. We have a lot of games so I can play my part.
"I am different to Alvaro. I am maybe more offensive and so it's not a direct comparison. But first I have to get fit and do well in training - then we will see."