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Rodgers Hopeful of Enrique Availability

Liverpool have found themselves missing Jose Enrique more than they'd expected, but Brendan Rodgers thinks the Spanish left-back could be ready for inclusion tomorrow.

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Clive Brunskill

Aly Cissokho's arrival on loan hasn't yet gone according to plan; his debut appearance was solid if unspectacular, but since that time it's been rough going. His injury within the first ten minutes against Notts County left him on the sidelines for weeks, and since returning he's struggled to maintain any sort of consistency, bottoming out with a poor performance at the Emirates last weekend. He's clearly working his way back up to speed after a layoff of his own, but thus far he hasn't provided both depth and quality.

That's given way to plenty of angst about the health of Jose Enrique, who's been missing since mid-October with a knee injury. The Spaniard wasn't on his best form either, but a large part of that was apparently down to injury, and his performances were at minimum a step above what Cissokho's achieved thus far.

Good news, then, especially if Brendan Rodgers' words pre-match hold true, as we could see Enrique back in action as early as tomorrow:

"We're just waiting on Jose. He has trained and his knee is much better so we'll be hoping he will be available for the weekend. That's something we'll assess in the next 24 hours. It will be great to have Jose back."

I would be surprised if we got much more than a substitute appearance tomorrow, but it's especially heartening to know that he's this close prior to the international break. Two weeks of continued recovery will be utilized, and the fullback should be ready to retake his spot in full when Liverpool head across Stanley Park for the derby. At that point, we'll finally have some sort of competition at left-back, but based on current evidence, it's a contest Jose Enrique won't be in jeopardy of losing.

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