Joe Allen's mysterious disappearance from the face of the earth caused some minor alarm amongst Liverpool supporters as he's been neither seen nor heard during his absence. That he'd injured his hamstring remained somewhat of a secret for quite some time, but Allen confirmed Brendan Rodgers' hope that he would be ready to go for the first game back from international break.
"I'm almost there, basically," said the red panda. "The plan is to get back into training, get a good few days leading up to the Newcastle game and hopefully I'll be available for selection from there on.
"It has been a bit of a frustrating time - it always is when you're injured - but I'm finally getting there. It was the one I had in the back of my mind anyway, so it has worked out quite nicely in that sense."
Having missed most of the season thus, Allen missed out on the early positive start his team mates have experienced thus far. His return to the fold marks — knock on wood — the true start to his season, and he's eager to put the injury behind him.
"With the timing of the injury, I hadn't really got into the swing of things," Allen said. "This is a fresh start to the season for me personally. It's great to come back with the team doing so well.
"I tell myself it comes with the territory of this job, unfortunately. There are players, who have had worse injuries than I have had and have been out longer. That's the way to look at it sometimes when you're feeling sorry for yourself, you have to remember these things."
Whether or not he developed this sense of perspective having spent much time in the physio room with Martin Kelly as company remains unknown, but what is known is that Allen's presence will offer one more option for Brendan Rodgers as he continues to sort out his hot mess of a midfield.