Chris Kirkland is hoping to put his injury nightmare behind him when he returns
Chris Kirkland is hoping to put his injury nightmare behind him when he returns to full training with Liverpool next week...
The young goalkeeper's season was ruined back in January when he suffered a serious cruciate ligament injury in a clash with Dele Adebola 25 minutes in to Liverpool's FA Cup Fourth Round match against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.
The injury was particularly agonising as Kirkland had only just taken over from Jerzy Dudek as the first choice Liverpool goalkeeper.
Things are looking brighter for the 22-year-old Kirkland now as after working on his rehabilitation throughout the summer at the club's Melwood training complex, he has been given the go-ahead to rejoin the first-team squad when they start pre-season training on Tuesday.
The Leicester-born keeper said: "My season was ruined by that bad injury and in all truth it's been hard work to try and get back to peak fitness again. It's as much a mental battle as a physical one.
"I know my chance will come again. I signed for six years when I came and I have four remaining and I don't intend to do anything else except playing for Liverpool, despite what the newspapers might say!"
Kirkland admits that last season was a massive disappointment for all at Anfield but that the suad are looking to make amends this time round.
"We were sad in the end not to make the Champions League, although the UEFA Cup berth is fine, the aim is always to look forward at this club.
"I hope I can play a major part in next season's task of finishing higher and in winning a Champions League spot.
"Anfield is the best place in the land to play football, in my opinion. I'm just honoured to be part of such an amazing club, and play in front of such brilliant fans."
Place of Birth: Leicester
Date of Birth: 2 May 1981
Height: 6' 6''
Weight: 14 12
Ray Clemence on Kirkland injury
England goalkeeping coach Ray Clemence talks exclusively to TheFA.com about Chris Kirkland...