With two fairly lengthy injury layoffs, it's easy to forget that Fabio Borini actually is, you know, a Liverpool player. He showed smart movement and a good workrate early in the season but couldn't quite find a finishing touch, and before he could hit anything resembling form he was sidelined with a broken foot. He returned to seemingly full strength after the new year, though, and with nearly five months of action ahead of him, it looked as though he'd have plenty of time to reintegrate himself into the squad.
That opportunity was cut short as well, with an awkward fall against Swansea in the 5-0 win at Anfield leading to a dislocated shoulder, another surgery, and, at least at the time, the rest of the season gone. An accelerated rehabilitation period has belied that assumption, and ahead of Liverpool's visit to Newcastle, Brendan Rodgers has revealed that the young Italian striker should be available to add depth up front for the run-in:
"Fabio should also be involved in the squad so we have options. He's recovered really well and is looking very sharp. It's been a difficult first season for Fabio. With the injuries he's had it's not been ideal but it's been a great learning season for him. If he can help us now over the coming weeks it will give him a platform to build on for next season."
I'm a little leery about such a quick return for a player who's suffered two significant injuries already this season; if he's well and truly back to match fitness that's terrific, and with lack of experienced depth once again a concern for Liverpool, his addition would at least give Rodgers another option if Daniel Sturridge struggles to carry Liverpool's attack through the rest of the season. Borini's yet to contribute much in terms of goalscoring, but the aforementioned workrate and movement could provide vital support for a team that's going to need to find a new source of goals over their last four matches.