Aquilani still weeks away from Liverpool debut

Italian midfielder Alberto Aquilani is still weeks away from making his Liverpool debut according to reports in The Guardian. The former Roma player, who moved to Anfield for £20m during the summer, is still recovering from am operation on his right ankle in May.

The defeats to Fiorentina and Chelsea last week underlined Liverpool's lack of creativity in midfield. Aquilani has been widely earmarked as a possible replacement for Xabi Alonso, who joined Real Madrid in the summer, but the Italian's injury layoff means that he is yet to play a single minute for the Reds.

Rafa Benitez told reporters that he expects Aquilani to be ready to make his debut in two to three weeks but is reluctant to rush the Italian back into action too soon. "I have been speaking to the doctors and things are going well with him," the Liverpool manager said. "Alberto is progressing all the time. It could be two to three weeks before he is back. But we need to use caution."

"If it is two weeks everyone will say 'that is fantastic' but if it is three, everyone will say it is not a problem. We will take it one step at a time and we have the international break to look forward to now. That will be good for him, as he will have some more time."

Benitez: "He is running and swimming – I think he will have the record in the swimming pool by the end of his programme – and he is working in the gym. He is doing almost everything and he is doing some things with the team. The only thing he is not doing is kicking a ball, not yet anyway."

United Kingdom - Excite Network Copyright ©1995 - 2018