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The Spain international midfielder has not played for the Reds since the Merseyside derby with arch-rivals Everton in October

Thiago Alcantara is still wary of setting a date for his return to action at Liverpool, with the Spain international having been out of action since October with a knee injury.

Alongside centre-half Virgil van Dijk, the  playmaker picked up an injury during the Merseyside derby with arch-rivals Everton.

He has not been seen in action since the 2-2 draw at Goodison Park on October 17, with just two appearances for the Reds on the back of a high-profile summer transfer from Bayern Munich.

Liverpool had high hopes for Thiago and were encouraged by his early showings in England. Jurgen Klopp is eager to welcome the 29-year-old back into his plans, but no unnecessary risks will be taken on his fitness.

That means the former Barcelona star continues to take his recovery “step by step”, with no need to rush with Liverpool back at the top of the Premier League table.

The plan is for Thiago to step back in at some point in the near future, but no definitive fixture is being lined up.

Pressed by the Reds’ official website on whether he has a date in mind, Thiago said: “No, just taking it step by step.

“We always try to [do it] like we have a wall in front of us, saying ‘OK, you have to make a step back before you can advance.’ Now we think we are in a right mood and looking forward to the end of the year to try to train another time with the team.”

Thiago has been watching on as Liverpool have overcome a wretched run of luck on the injury front to force their into another Premier League title race and through to the last-16 of the Champions League where they will face RB Leipzig.

Progress by Klopp’s side has been impressive, but not all that surprising given the success they have enjoyed during a trophy-laden couple of seasons on Merseyside.

Thiago added: “The team were doing good the last years, it’s not just about this season, it’s about the last years – they were doing an amazing performance not just in the Premier League but also in the Champions League.

“The positive part is [the opportunity] to learn more about the club and to learn more about the players from outside the pitch.”

Liverpool will be back in action on Saturday when they travel to Crystal Palace.

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December 18, 2020