Steve Bruce has told fans that Jake Livermore is "mentally ready" to return to competitive action for Hull City. The Tigers boss has been supportive of Livermore throughout an episode that has seen him test positive for cocaine and only narrowly escape a ban.
Livermore pleaded extenuating circumstances for his failed test and the Football Association took this into account when showing leniency in the case.
The 25-year-old suffered heartbreak when his newborn son, Jake Junior, died. The death was on May 19 2014, but Livermore's failed test was on April 25 of this year.
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The maximum sentence for this crime is two years out of the game. This meant that Livermore, although guilty of the drug-related offence, was let off this time. The FA explained that the "specific and unique nature of the circumstances" aided Livermore's case.
The FA also made note of the "devastating effect" of the tragedy and that his "cognitive functions" were severely limited by the death.
Hull's next fixture is tonight night at home to Premier League side, Swansea City. The fixture is in the third round of the League Cup, speaking before the tie, Bruce revealed Livermore could be in contention: "Jake has come in and wants to get back to playing again,
"I will speak to my medical team...Whether I put Jake in on Tuesday, I'll make up my mind in the next 24 hours".
Bruce will be pleased to have Livermore back in the fold. The ex-Tottenham Hotspur midfielder is a footballer of promise. He made his debut for England in a friendly against Italy in August 2012.
Hull currently sit third in the Championship, following last season's relegation from the top flight. They will be among the favourites for promotion in this campaign, and Livermore's renewed presence will help them to achieve promotion.