Liverpool could be set to see one player make a welcome return to action imminently following a lengthy injury layoff.
As reported by Liverpool Echo, Conor Bradley is in line to feature for the Reds’ under-21s tonight when they take on Burnley in the Lancashire Senior Cup.
The 20-year-old impressed for Jurgen Klopp’s first team in pre-season friendlies against Karlsruhe and Greuther Furth but was then omitted from the subsequent trip to Singapore due to what was then labelled a ‘minor injury’.
In truth, it was a stress fracture in the back which’d keep him out of action for four months, but that nightmare now seems to be over for the Northern Ireland international.
The injury came at the worst possible time for Bradley, whose performances in pre-season suggested that he’d be set for a few competitive first-team games until misfortune struck.
The right-back was hailed by Klopp earlier this year for his ‘super mentality’ (liverpoolfc.com) and would very likely have featured in the Carabao Cup and Europa League throughout the autumn had he been fit.
He might still get to play in both tournaments before Christmas, with the domestic quarter-final against West Ham falling within three days of crucial league games against Manchester United and Arsenal, while ensuring progress in Europe this week could open the door for him to play against Union Saint-Gilloise next month.
Once Bradley is in good enough condition to be considered for the first team, it should allow scope to rest Trent Alexander-Arnold for some games, while also eliminating the need for Joe Gomez to play at right-back.
The Northern Ireland defender will need a few matches for the under-21s to build up his fitness to a point where Klopp can realistically call upon him, but a midweek return against Burnley should be the first big step towards breaking back into the senior side.