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Emre Can Back in Training, Could Start Against Villarreal

The Liverpool midfielder is in contention to start against Villarreal on Thursday.

Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Liverpool have lost a few key players due to injuries and substance violations of late. Divock Origi, Emre Can, Jordan Henderson, and Mamadou Sakho were all absent from the first leg of the Europa League semi-final against Villarreal last Thursday. All four were expected to be missing, but there is fresh hope that one of them could make a surprise return to action.

Emre Can took part in training on Monday and could start against Villarreal at Anfield as Liverpool look to overturn a first leg reversal to make the Europa League final. The 22-year-old ruptured his ankle ligaments in the dramatic victory over Borussia Dortmund in the previous round and had expected to be out for at least a month. The German international was even believed to be a major doubt if Liverpool were to reach the final on 18 May.

Although Jürgen Klopp might be surprised to see Can recover so quickly, he could be tempted to start the midfielder after losing him in the middle of April. Liverpool have not tasted victory for three games in all competitions and require inspiration from somewhere. Can was becoming a leader in the midfield, someone who seemed to rise as matters became increasingly difficult during games. Are those qualities worth taking a risk to find a way past Villarreal?

The key question centres on the level of Can's fitness after missing nearly three weeks of action through injury. If he proves his fitness over the next couple of days, Klopp will have a big decision to make. Irrespective of whether Can starts on Thursday, his quick recovery from injury is good news for the club.

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