Martin Kelly not quite ready for Anfield comeback according to Liverpool manager
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers says Martin Kelly
is still "some way off" a first-team comeback.
The defender, who made his England debut against Norway in May last year, was out of action for 10 months with a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament injury. He skippered the Reds under-21s team to a 4-2 victory over Manchester United last week as he continued his recovery but Rodgers believes Tuesday’s Capital One Cup encounter with Notts County is too soon for a return to action.
Rodgers confirmed: “Martin won't be involved - he's still quite some way off match fitness really.
"Credit to him, he's working ever so hard and that will be frustrating for him. He felt himself after those early weeks coming back into games that he was a long way off where he was the year before.”
Speaking to Liverpool’s official website, Rodgers added: “If you have been out for a year it sometimes takes you near enough that to be back to your best.
"The most important thing for us is to nurture him back through his fitness and his match fitness. We have a behind-closed-doors game here on Wednesday that he will play in to help his fitness."
The 23-year-old was part of Roy Hodgson’s Euro 2012 squad before his injury last year, and earlier this summer Kelly spoke of his determination to return to the Three Lions fold.
Kelly said: "The World Cup is certainly an incentive. With Roy being the England manager, I'm sure he will be looking.
"But for me, at the start of the season, I just need to concentrate on doing well for Liverpool.
"My first target is to get my fitness up, crack on and get back to where I was at the start of last season.
"In football, things can change quickly. If I take my chance again and do well, then I'm sure the England manager will be watching."