Liverpool midfielder Allen hopes to be available for Newcastle clash

The Wales international has been sidelined since August with a hamstring problem, after his 2012-13 season was curtailed by a shoulder injury, but aims to return to action shortly
Liverpool midfielder Joe Allen is confident he will return from a hamstring injury in time for the Reds' clash with Newcastle next weekend.

The 23-year-old has not played since suffering the injury in August's extra-time victory over Notts County in the Capital One Cup, spending more than six weeks on the sidelines.

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The Wales international was not fit enough to be called up by his country for their upcoming World Cup qualifiers, but Allen believes that could stand him in good stead when his club side travel to St James' Park next Saturday.

"I'm almost there, basically," he told the club's official website. "The plan is to get back into training, get a good few days leading up to the Newcastle game and hopefully I'll be available for selection from there on.

"It has been a bit of a frustrating time - it always is when you're injured - but I'm finally getting there. It was the one I had in the back of my mind anyway, so it has worked out quite nicely in that sense.

"I was disappointed; I thought I would get back for the Wales games but unfortunately they just came a bit soon. But it has meant that I got a bit of extra rehab leading up to that game. I have been able to get ready.

"With the timing of the injury, I hadn't really got into the swing of things.

"This is a fresh start of the season for me personally. It is great to come back with the team doing so well."