Liverpool defender Sebastian Coates is desperate to return to action before the end of the season in order to secure his place in Uruguay's World Cup squad, reports ESPN.

The 23-year-old suffered anterior cruciate knee ligament damage in August as he featured in a friendly for Uruguay against Japan. 

And with his national side now having progressed to next year's competition, the defender has targeted a return before the end of the campaign. 

The Liverpool star has struggled to settle at Anfield since joining the club in 2011 and will have to battle new signings like Kolo Toure, Mamadou Sakho and Tiago Ilori to earn his place in the starting XI when does return.

Speaking about his progress, Coates told reporters: "I'm making progress slowly but surely. It's an injury that takes a long time this one, and you have to work hard on a day-to-day basis to recover, but fortunately that's what I'm doing and so I hope to come back fit and well just as soon as I can.

"It's been going very well. As I said, it's a long recovery process for this injury and I think it's more about how you are psychologically in your head and trying to keep positive in order to be able to get back to full fitness as quickly as possible.

"You always think positively, I think that's the most important thing. In my case, I keep myself going by focusing on getting back as quickly as I can, and with the national team, the World Cup is another goal to help me with my recovery."

Liverpool will be hoping Coates can make a quick recovery as they go in search of breaking into the top four of the Premier League this season. Liverpool have started this season well and currently sit in second place, just four points behind league leaders Arsenal. 

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Sebastian Coates