Early in the week, there were hopes that Glen Johnson and Daniel Agger might both be fit in time to play against Arsenal in the FA Cup. While Johnson may not be quite ready yet, it turned out Agger was fit enough to make the bench against Fulham on Wednesday and was even handed a late cameo, putting him in line to start on Sunday, likely alongside Martin Skrtel.
"Glen Johnson is working very well," said Brendan Rodgers at his pre-match press conference. "I'm not sure he'll be ready for the game this weekend, but if we can have a good week next week he'll be very close. He looks fresher and he looks fitter. That period that he's had out has really helped him. He's in good condition. But there is still a bit to go yet. Daniel Agger is back in the squad and it's as it was really."
With a week off before Liverpool face Swansea in the league, Rodgers will have choices at the back for the first time in a month. With Jon Flanagan often impressing on the right and Aly Cissokho surprising some by appearing composed and capable in defence on the left, it isn't entirely certain which side Johnson is likely to come back on or for whom. That Agger is likely to replace Kolo Toure, though, seems more straightforward.
Meanwhile, Lucas Leiva and Jose Enrique remain a couple of weeks away—or a few, depending on how one defines such things—from contention, and Jordan Henderson has learned he will have to undergo surgery for his broken wrist. Fortunately for the club, Henderson doesn't expect the surgery will keep him out of action when he goes under the knife some time in the next week.
"I was in a bit of pain during the game [against Fulham] but it wasn't too bad," Henderson said. "The doctor gave me some painkillers and it was okay, and playing with a protective cast helped. I've got to get an operation soon but it won't stop me from playing games. There is a lot to play for and I don't want to miss out."
With Henderson's broken wrist and the minutes played so far this season by his ageing captain, it wouldn't be shocking to see one of Henderson or Steven Gerrard given Sunday off to allow Joe Allen a rare start. After an impressive debut, Joao Carlos Teixeira may also be in contention.