Last season, Liverpool had their share of injuries. They didn't, though, have to worry about seemingly half their matchday squad being out at the same time, at least not until January. By that time, the team had settled, had gathered momentum, and was able to ride things out with relative ease.
This time around, the injury deluge has hit right at the start of the season, and its impact has seen Liverpool fall off from the pace they set last term. In defence, with Dejan Lovren and Mamadou Sakho both likely to be unavailable against QPR, the problems look set to continue, but up the pitch at least the situation is finally starting to improve.
"I've worked a lot on my fitness after the injury and I'm doing fine," Emre Can told the club's official website this week. "I'll get fit again and I'll be stronger, but that's all part and parcel of football. I was struggling a bit with a cal problem [against Manchester City and Tottenham] and that meant it was difficult to do everything at a high tempo."
The absence of Can and Joe Allen has hurt Liverpool, perhaps even as much as missing Daniel Sturridge up front, so news that both midfielders should be fit enough to make the bench against QPR is certainly good to hear. It doesn't hurt, either, that Sturridge is expected back in the lineup, likely also on the bench with an eye to Madrid mid-week.
And if Can's performances this season were indeed hurt by the player carrying a minor knock, that they still appeared hugely promising is nothing but good news moving forward. Now it's just a matter of keeping fit to show everyone what he's capable of at his best. It wouldn't be the worst if the rest of Liverpool's lengthy injured list could do the same.
"When I'm fully fit again I'll be able to produce better performances," he added. "I'm really convinced of that."