Liverpool defender Jose Enrique is stepping up his bid for a return to Premier League action by featuring for the club's U21 side during their match against Fulham on 7 April.

The Spanish full-back, who moved to Anfield from Premier League rivals Newcastle in 2011, has endured a torrid season with injuries that have restricted him to just eight starts in all competitions.

Having first damaged his knee in November 2013, Enrique has sought specialist treatment in the United States but still does not look to have fully recovered from the problem.

His last appearance for Liverpool came during the goalless FA Cup draw with Championship outfit Bolton in January, an enormously frustrating game in which he featured for just 45 minutes before being replaced by 2014 summer arrival Lazar Markovic at half-time.

Liverpool's defence were fiercely criticised in the wake of the recent humbling 4-1 defeat to Arsenal and Enrique should have a chance to prove himself worthy of an opportunity to compete for a regular first-team berth if he can prove his fitness between now and the end of the campaign.

"Happy that I'm going to get involve in the liverpool reserve game today to get some game time against Fulham," the 29-year-old tweeted.


While Liverpool's U21s are fighting with Manchester United for the Division One title ahead of their latest fixture at Swansway Stadium, focus will soon turn back to the senior side who have little time to dwell on their dismal performance against Arsenal with a trip to Blackburn fast approaching.

Martin Skrtel and Jordan Ibe will miss the FA Cup quarter-final replay on 8 April through suspension and a hamstring injury respectively, while controversial striker Mario Balotelli faces a fitness test to determine his involvement after ruling himself out of Liverpool's latest defeat with a knee problem sustained in training.

Steven Gerrard and Emre Can also miss out as a result of red cards collected against Manchester United and Arsenal respectively.