Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge could return from an ankle injury at Stoke City on Sunday, manager Brendan Rodgers has confirmed.
The England international has been absent since November 23 after scoring a late equaliser in a pulsating 3-3 draw with local rivals Everton.
Before his injury, Sturridge was in top form, notching nine goals in 12 Premier League starts and forging a strong partnership with Luis Suarez.
After a full week of training, Rodgers intends to monitor his forward's progress ahead of the showdown at the Britannia Stadium on Sunday.
The Northern Irishman said: "Sturridge has been training this week and looking very well.
"We'll see (how he is) over the next 24 hours. He has made a terrific impact since he came in here, he has been outstanding. We're working hard with him and his talent to try to really allow that to flourish.
"Over the last four to five weeks it has obviously been difficult for us with injuries and the fitness of the squad.
"But just seeing him on the training field in the last couple of days has been really good - someone of that stature and quality out there. To have that back in your group again gives you great firepower.
"We don't need to rush him, we want to make sure he's going to be ready to make an impact in the second part of the season."
Rodgers also confirmed that centre-back Mamadou Sakho is set to return to the squad following a hamstring complaint, which will soften the blow of Daniel Agger's month-long lay-off with a calf injury, while full-backs Jon Flanagan and Jose Enrique remain sidelined.comments