Daniel Agger
Agger returns against Sunderland.

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers says Daniel Agger is available again following a rib injury but Joe Allen remains among five absentees for the trip to Sunderland.

Philippe Coutinho, Glen Johnson, Aly Cissokho and Sebastian Coates are long-term injury concerns while Allen is close to a return after a hamstring problem.

But the trip to the Stadium of Light to take on a Sunderland side led by caretaker boss Kevin Ball comes too soon for the Welsh international, but Agger, substitute against Southampton after complaining of breathing problems which subsequently forced him to miss the League Cup loss to Manchester United, returns for Liverpool.

"We are what we are from the other night," Rodgers said.

"Daniel Agger will hopefully come back into the reckoning; he has trained in the last couple of days. Other than that, it will be more or less the same squad.

"I can only work with the players that I have available. We have got a few injuries and most of them have been unfortunate injuries.

"I can only concentrate on the players we have available now and we'll maximise what we can out of that group. They are working very hard and working well."

"We felt leading up to the Swansea game that Joe's hamstring was getting better," the Liverpool manager added.

"But he still has a bit of time to go on that. He's obviously working hard with the medical team but he's not fit yet."

Coutinho has undergone surgery on a shoulder problem but is due back before the end of the month while Johnson had the cast around his left ankle removed in mid-week but will still miss England's World Cup qualifying double-header next month.

Cissohko's return for Liverpool from a foot problem is imminent but Coates suffered a knee injury early in the season and will miss the entire campaign.