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Balotelli Back In Training, Could Play Against Manchester United

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After a six match absence with a groin injury, Liverpool could finally get Mario Balotelli back in the squad this weekend after the Italian returned to training today.

Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

After a weeks-long absence due to a groin injury picked up while with the Italian national team, Mario Balotelli has finally returned to Liverpool training today.

@mb459 back into training ahead of the clash with the Red Devils at Old Trafford on Sunday #LFC

A photo posted by Liverpool Football Club (@liverpoolfc) on

The striker's return gives Brendan Rodgers a boost to his attack, though Balotelli surely won't be sufficiently up to speed yet to be able to start against Manchester United on Sunday. Still, just having him as an option off the bench could be nice, especially with Rickie Lambert looking more and more and more tired after starting every match in Balo's absence.

Balotelli has scored just twice in fourteen matches for Liverpool this season, but has yet to break his duck in the league. He scored Liverpool's first goal in their lone Champions League win way back in September against Ludogorets, then scored the equalizer against Swansea City in the League Cup, setting the stage for Dejan Lovren's winner. What goals Balotelli has scored have, obviously, been quite important for the club; if he can start applying some of that magic to the league, it could help Liverpool out in a big way.

Even if Balotelli doesn't play against Manchester this weekend, there's a midweek League Cup match against Bournemouth that it would be useful for him to start, and he'll surely see significant minutes during the upcoming run of holiday period matches against Arsenal, Burnley, and Swansea.