Jurgen Klopp is optimistic Joe Gomez will be available for selection again before the end of March.
The defender has been sidelined since suffering a fractured leg under the challenge of Ben Mee during Liverpool’s 3-1 win over Burnley on December 5.
An initial layoff of six weeks was put back even further earlier this calendar year when the Englishman was forced to undergo surgery on the problem.
His absence has combined with Dejan Lovren’s injury woes in leaving Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip as the club’s only healthy senior centre-backs for much of 2019.
Such has been Klopp’s problems at the back that Fabinho has also been required to drop into defence for games against Wolves, Brighton and Bayern Munich.
The Reds’ boss has now pinpointed the end of the international break as Gomez’s likely return date.
He told Liverpoolfc.com: “I think after the international break Joe should be OK. If nobody gets injured before then we’ll have a proper choice. Joe is doing his rehab and looks good, big steps, outside running and all these things.”
Players selected for international duty by their respective countries are set to be away between March 18 to March 26.
This could mean Gomez’s first game back coming against third-placed Tottenham at Anfield on March 31, although it remains to be seen whether Klopp would opt to throw him back into such a high-profile contest.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is meanwhile also edging closer to his return to action having been out with knee ligament damage since last April’s Champions League semi-final first leg against Roma.
The midfielder returned to full training during the club’s Marbella camp and has also been tipped to make his comeback in March.