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The 30-year-old has recovered from a lengthy injury layoff and looks set to return to the first team after playing an hour for the Liverpool Under-21s and scoring a goal.

Liverpool midfielder Joe Cole made his comeback from a hamstring injury on Monday, appearing and scoring for the Reds' Under-21 side.

The 30-year-old midfielder, who spent last season on loan at Ligue 1 side Lille, has been on the sidelines for six weeks after aggravating a hamstring strain during the Anfield club's opening-day clash with West Brom.

Cole suffered the hamstring strain during Brendan Rodgers' first competitive game against FC Gomel in August, but worsened the injury after coming on as a substitute against the Baggies. The attacking midfielder was able to complete 60 minutes of play for the Under-21s at the club's academy in Kirkby, in which he opened the scoring in a 3-0 win over Fulham.

The former England international has been able to step up his recovery and could challenge for a spot in the UEFA Europa League clash against Udinese on Thursday, with Rodgers looking to rotate his squad.

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