Gerrard close to Liverpool return

The 31-year-old has been out of action for five months after undergoing surgery on his groin.

He said on Liverpool’s official website: “I feel really good and I’m back kicking balls again – it’s all positive. I should be back in full training on Thursday or Friday.”

Gerrard added: “I won’t be involved against Stoke next Saturday but my plan is to hopefully be involved in the game against Tottenham. It will be Kenny’s decision when I come back in.

“At the moment it’s all good and I’m itching to get back. In fact it’s worse than itching, my stomach is turning.

“It’s been a tough five months for me since I had the surgery. It’s been up and down emotionally and I’ve missed playing so much.

“I’ve had a good rest, I’m fired up and I’m raring to go again. I know I’m going to come back fitter, stronger and hungrier than ever.”