Liverpool midfielder Joe Allen has said that he is close to returning to action.

The 23-year-old has been missing since suffering a hamstring injury during Liverpool’s extra-time win over Notts County in the Capital One Cup back in August.

But it looks as though the welshman is nearing full fitness, and could be back for the Reds’ trip to Newcastle next saturday.

Allen told the club’s website: "I'm almost there, basically. The plan is to get back into training, get a good few days leading up to the Newcastle game and hopefully I'll be available for selection from there on."

The former Swansea player signed a contract at Anfield in the summer 2012, in a deal worth around £15million, and he says it has been frustrating having to watch on from the stands.

"It has been a bit of a frustrating time - it always is when you're injured - but I'm finally getting there. It was the one I had in the back of my mind anyway, so it has worked out quite nicely in that sense," Allen said.

"I was disappointed; I thought I would get back for the Wales games but unfortunately they just came a bit soon. But it has meant that I got a bit of extra rehab leading up to that game. I have been able to get ready."

Allen has had bad luck with long-term injuries. During Liverpool’s game against Zenit St. Petersburg in the Europa league in match 2012, he suffered a shoulder injury that ruled him out for the rest of the season.

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has been full of praise for the welsh international, having been involved with him when the pair were at Swansea, he called Allen the ‘Welsh Xavi’.

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