Jurgen Klopp says Thiago Alcantara is edging closer to making his long-awaited comeback from injury.
The Spain midfielder has made just two appearances for Liverpool since joining from Bayern Munich in the summer after suffering a knee injury during October’s Merseyside derby draw with Everton.
However, Klopp says the 29-year-old is now back on the training pitch with the rest of his team-mates, even though he has still some way to go before he can be considered fit enough for competitive action.
"Thiago has trained in part with the team so far, but on Friday, he trained the full session," he told reporters. "But it was a reduced session so we couldn't do that [full session].
"He just has to be part of team training [regularly]. It's not about being part of team training one day and then you can play football in the Premier League.
"So it looks quite promising at the moment but I cannot say more about it, to be honest. I don't know. I think the plan was that if he trains [on Monday] completely normally then we will see.”
Klopp’s comments mean Thiago is unlikely to feature in Wednesday’s Premier League trip to Newcastle, but could return for the game at Southampton on Monday or the FA Cup tie with Aston Villa on January 8.
His return would be a timely boost for the Reds after suffering a number of injury problems so far this campaign.
They are likely to be without defenders Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez for most of the season after both players sustained serious knee injuries that required surgery.
Another centre-back, Joel Matip, is being assessed after picking up a thigh problem against West Brom on Sunday.
Summer signings Diogo Jota and Konstantinos Tsimikas are also expected to miss the next month with knee problems, while Naby Keita has a muscle injury.
Despite their injury woes, Klopp’s side currently have a three point lead at the top of the Premier League and finished top of their Champions League group to set up a last-16 tie against RB Leipzig.