In many ways the international break came at an unfortunate time for Liverpool--they'd won three matches in the course of little more than a week and four from four in all competitions to get their 2013-2014 campaign underway, and the squad clearly had some sort of momentum (even if it didn't include a ton of goals) on the heels of the victory over Manchester United. But it also allowed for Mamadou Sakho and Tiago Ilori to get settled, as it would have for Victor Moses had he not been away for part of it with Nigeria.
And, of course, it provided some needed recovery time for those injured over the course of the season's opening few weeks, with each of Kolo Toure, Joe Allen, Aly Cissokho, and Glen Johnson spending time with the training team. In his pre-Swansea press conference today, Brendan Rodgers provided updates on their status with a pair set for Swansea contention and the other two still some ways off.
Transcripts of the presser will likely filter out as the day progresses, but what's important to know for now is that it looks as though Allen is ready to return to the matchday squad along with Toure; Rodgers mentioned that both have been part of regular training, though he did make special mention of Toure's work with the physios and sounded slightly less convinced about the veteran defender's status.
That leaves Cissokho and Johnson, and for both it's going to be a matter of weeks. We knew as much for both, so Rodgers' comments merely confirm most of the information we had for awhile. Cissokho is "still a few weeks away," and with Johnson the club will be monitoring his recovery "over the course of the next five weeks." Fullbacks. Liverpool don't need them.
The additions of Ilori and Sakho do provide depth and apparent flexibility in a number of roles, however, and Toure's return to the squad on the heels of Martin Skrtel's standout performance against United is going to give Liverpool plenty of competition for spots in central defense. Fullback depth is and will forever be a question mark, but heading into Monday evening's visit to Swansea, the squad should otherwise be close to full strength.