Liverpool skipper making 'very good progress'

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Football News

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard will not be fit to play in Saturday's match at Newcastle but is on course for a return the following weekend.

The 30-year-old is still recovering from a hamstring injury sustained on England duty last month and will not travel to St James' Park with the rest of the squad.

"I don't know where the stories came from that Gerrard would be fit for Newcastle," said manager Roy Hodgson. "We have always been thinking he would be fit to face Fulham the following weekend, it would be much too early to consider him for Newcastle."

He added: "But he is making very good progress, which we are happy with, and he is absolutely on schedule but Newcastle was an unrealistic target."

Hodgson also revealed he had challenged defender Daniel Agger to prove his fitness for the match at Anfield against the Cottagers.

The Denmark centre-back has not played since September 25 because of a calf problem.

Liverpool's medical staff believe he needs a couple more weeks' rehabilitation but Hodgson and Agger are both pushing for a return in 10 days time.

"He is much better and really pushing himself beyond what we could expect him to do," added the Reds boss.

"His attitude is first class and we are targeting the Fulham game.

"The sports science people tell me it is too soon and he needs a bit longer but in my conversations with him he is in agreement that Fulham is not out of the question and he is pushing for it."

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