Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has vowed to come back firing on all cylinders next season after the longest lay-off in his football career.
The 31-year-old England international midfielder has carved a frustrated figure, watching on from the sidelines as Kenny Dalglish's rejuvenated Reds climbed the table with an end of season flourish.
Gerrard last featured in Liverpool’s 3-1 victory over Manchester United on March 6, before undergoing surgery in an attempt to cure a long-standing groin problem, that restricted him to just 24 first team appearances last season.
Now well on the road to recovery, Gerrard feels fitter than ever ahead of pre-season and is looking forward to linking up with the Anfield squad at Melwood come July.
As far as Kenny Dalglish is concerned, the return of his talismanic skipper is almost the equivalent of a new signing, and it's understandable the optimism levels have hit new heights at Anfield.
"I want to come back with a bang, I want to have a big season," Gerrard told Liverpoolfc.tv. "It's been non-stop football for me since I started when I was 17. I've never had a period of more than four or five weeks out of the game.
"I've had a rest mentally, my injury's coming on well and I can't wait for the season to start."
Reflecting on a frustrating 2010-11 campaign both individually and collectively, Gerrard is looking to take the positives ahead of the new season.
"You don't want to miss games but when you're watching them it gives you that edge, that buzz to get back," he continued. "I'll come back hungry and hopefully there's a very productive season ahead for me.
"I’m happy with what I've achieved but there's still a lot of time for me to achieve bigger and better things. I'd like to finish my career with a few more trophies."
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