Kuyt poised for early return

MANCHESTER - Liverpool forward Dirk Kuyt could return to action this weekend after making a faster-than-expected recovery from a shoulder injury, manager Roy Hodgson said on Wednesday.

The Dutchman fell awkwardly attempting a bicycle kick in training before his country's Euro 2012 qualifier against Finland on September 7.

He had been ruled out for four weeks but has been training for the last couple of days and could return for Saturday's Premier League game against Sunderland or next Thursday's Europa League match at Utrecht, the Dutch club he used to play for.

"We're trying to protect him a little bit but he's made a remarkable recovery, so it'll be interesting to see how he progresses... in relation to Saturday's game and the game next Thursday," Hodgson told the club website.

As well as a boost for Liverpool, who are 16th in the standings after a poor start to the season, Kuyt's early return will be good news for Netherlands who play Euro 2012 qualifiers in Moldova on October 8 and home to Sweden four days later.

Interact: Twitter * Facebook * Forums