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Skrtel Fitness No Longer an Issue

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Despite doubts earlier in the week that the Slovakian central defender would be available for Sunday's match with Spurs, Brendan Rodgers today confirmed that Martin Skrtel's back in training and should be ready for inclusion.

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Clive Brunskill

Since the loss at Oldham, it's been generally accepted that Jamie Carragher is the preferred partner for Daniel Agger in central defense. The reality of Martin Skrtel's exclusion from the starting eleven sort of forces our hand a bit--no sense in denying what's actually happening--but it's also seemed to be for the best, as Carragher has had a nice run of form as his career winds down. What started as something of a farewell tour has now turned into a decent-seeming switch, even if Carragher was a central culprit in the quaalude-ridden defensive display against Wigan last weekend.

Many have resigned themselves to an impending exit this summer, with lack of selection and all-too frequent errors this season erasing much of the positive sentiment that'd been extended his way after an excellent 2011-2012 season. His omission last weekend furthered that resignation despite the fact that it was because of injury, mostly due to the player's comments on his lack of playing time whether or not he's fully fit.

And looking to Sunday, we at least now have confirmation that there's not any question about injury anymore, as Brendan Rodgers confirmed earlier in the day that Skrtel will be available for selection against Spurs. "Martin Skrtel was out injured and is back in training, and Daniel Sturridge is back in. Everyone is fine and has been training very well this week."

That doesn't mean that he's back back, of course, and it'd be hard to see him coming into the eleven in any scenario other than an injury to Jamie Carragher or a shift in formation that would require three at the back. Both are possible, I suppose, but Carragher's proven to be solid since returning, and Rodgers hasn't tinkered too heavily with the formation of late.

It all adds up to continued disappointment for Martin Skrtel, who'll have to hope that he earns another chance before a summer that will likely be heavy on the exit talk. With the club competing on only one front the rest of the way and Carragher's countdown getting shorter by the week, it's hard to see where those chances are going to come, and the discussion about where his future lies seems unavoidable at this point.