Daniel Agger is set to ease Liverpool's defensive injury problems by returning at Sunderland on Sunday.
Agger, 28, has been struggling with a rib injury sustained in a gymnasium accident on September 16, the day before Liverpool's 2-2 Premier League draw at Swansea.
The Denmark international missed that game, then struggled through 57 minutes of a 1-0 defeat at home to Southampton last Saturday before sitting out Wednesday night's Capital One Cup tie at Manchester United.
Manager Brendan Rodgers said: "We hope that Daniel Agger will come back into the reckoning. He's trained over the last couple of days."
Liverpool have suffered with a number of defensive injuries this season -- right-back Glen Johnson and left-back Aly Cissokho are both out with ankle trouble.
And Jose Enrique, the first-choice left-back ahead of Cissokho, has had to manage a knee problem this season.
In addition, centre-back Kolo Toure missed the 1-0 Premier League victory over Manchester United on September 1 with a groin strain, although he has since recovered.
All those injuries have forced Rodgers into a number of defensive reshuffles this season, giving Martin Skrtel a run at centre-back.
The 28-year-old, who lost his place to Jamie Carragher last January, was behind Toure and Agger in the pecking order at the start of the season.
But with Toure shifted to right-back to cover for Johnson's absence, the Slovakia international has started each of Liverpool's last four games -- including the 1-0 cup defeat at Old Trafford on Wednesday.
Rodgers said: "I thought Martin was brilliant the other night. I called him into the office the other morning just to recognise him for his excellent performance."
Skrtel has had to adjust his game to cope with the possession-based style of football introduced by Rodgers since he replaced Kenny Dalglish in the summer of 2012.
And the manager said: "It was one where before, Martin was maybe a marker, in terms of that one versus one defending, and getting right up against people.
"He's really strong and competitive. And the way we wanted to play, it's about finding that balance between being aggressive and reading the game, and also the ability to play.
"I think he's shown that he's a terrific player. That was never in doubt. We needed other characteristics in the team. He's come into the side and since the Man United game has done very well. I hope that will continue."