Liverpool have been handed a major boost ahead of their second-leg Europa League semi-final clash against Villarreal on Thursday (5 May) after Emre Can returned to training ahead of schedule. The German midfielder suffered ankle ligament damage during the Reds' 4-3 comeback win over Borussia Dortmund in the previous round of the competition and was expected to be out for up to six weeks.
According to the Sun, the former Bayer Leverkusen midfielder, who was facing a race against time to be fit for Germany's Euro 2016 campaign, has returned to training and is hoping to convince Jurgen Klopp to include him in the team to face the La Liga side. The Merseyside club need to score a minimum of two goals without conceding to have a chance to progress to the finals in Basel on 18 May.
The German coach has indicated following an assessment that the midfielder could return earlier than expected, but his return in just over two weeks, has reportedly shocked the Liverpool medical staff. It remains to be seen if Klopp will include him and risk his long-term fitness, as he already has options in James Milner, Joe Allen and Lucas Leiva, who have performed well in recent weeks.
"He's recovering much better. There might be a new timescale but I'm not telling you because there is no proof yet! But he is very good," Klopp said, as quoted by the Liverpool Echo.
Apart from the midfield situation, Klopp has a major decision to make on the striker front with regards to the player who will lead the line against the Yellow Submarines. Daniel Sturridge should be in contention in Divock Origi's absence, but the manager has ignored the England international for big games in recent months.
The former Manchester City and Chelsea forward was left on the bench for the semi-final first-leg at the El Madrigal, after the manager chose to go with Roberto Firmino up front. The Brazilian was rested during their recent loss to Swansea City and could return to the starting XI for the visit of the La Liga side. Apart from the duo, Christian Benteke has also returned from injury, and could be involved after scoring the only goal in their 3-1 loss against the south Wales club.