Liverpool defender Joe Gomez took an important step in his 13-month recovery from injury as he took the pitch for 45 minutes in a closed-door friendly against Accrington Stanley at Melwood. According to the Echo, the match was organized primarily for first team players not away on international duty and is expected to also feature certain Academy players.
Gomez, who was signed from Charlton in the summer of 2015, showing great promise and looking forward to developing under manager Jürgen Klopp before suffering an anterior cruciate ligament injury in October 2015 while on international duty with England’s U21 side. Consigned to a long rehab effort alongside Danny Ings, the young defender had been close to completing his comeback in July of this year, but was dealt a further setback on the cusp of the new season when he was diagnosed with an Achilles injury.
Participation in this friendly, even if it amounts to not much more than a glorified training session for a mixed bunch of regulars and Academy talent, represents a major milestone for Gomez in his recovery. Having been out of commission for more than a year, Gomez will likely be tasked by Klopp with getting his conditioning up to speed before any competitive minutes are even likely. While the middle of the back four looks in good shape at the moment, Gomez’s availability will be a welcome sight given the minimal depth available to the manager at either fullback position.