Mario Balotelli
Mario Balotelli has handed Brendan Rodgers a boost after returning to training ahead of the FA Cup semifinal clash against Aston VillaGetty

Liverpool have reportedly received a boost ahead of their FA Cup semifinal clash against Aston Villa on Sunday, 19 April at Wembley after Mario Balotelli returned to training.

According to the Liverpool Echo, the Italian international has returned to full training with the first-team at the Reds' Melwood training facility and will be part of the squad to face Tim Sherwood's team in the semi-final.

Balotelli has missed the last three games for the Merseyside club due to a combination of illness and injuries. But his return will bolster Brendan Rodgers' attacking options, as first choice striker Daniel Sturridge is still a doubt after picking up a hip injury during the Reds' quarter final replay against Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park.

The 24-year-old forward has played just 55 minutes of football for Liverpool since his last start against Besiktas in February, and his last appearance for Rodgers' side was the substitute appearance during the 3-1 loss to Manchester United.

The Northern Irishman will also have the services of Martin Skrtel and Steven Gerrard, who have both completed their respective three match bans picked up for infringements during the clash against the Red Devils in March.

However, midfielder Adam Lallana will not make it for the clash, as he has yet to fully recover from the groin injury he suffered in the same match against United. Though the midfielder returned to training, he is yet to join the first-team and has only been undergoing light sessions with trainers.

After Liverpool's loss against United and Arsenal denting their chance for a place in the top four, Rodgers will be keen to go the distance in the cup. But the Reds still hold slim hopes of catching Manchester City for the final Champions League spot.