Carragher on comeback trail

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Jamie Carragher believes he is closing in on a Liverpool first-team comeback, after responding well to treatment on a muscle injury picked up in the Carling Cup victory over Stoke City.

The 33-year-old vice-captain has missed the Reds last two fixtures, but is confident of making a full return to the Melwood training ground next week.

"I'm coming along fine," said Carragher. "I'm working with the physios this week and if things continue to go well the plan is to get back into full training at the start of next week.

"It was always going to be tight to be fit for the Swansea game last weekend and with a two-week break after that match there was no point doing anything silly. It's important to ensure I get it 100 per cent right.

"Hopefully I'll be available for the Chelsea game but I'm not thinking about games at this stage.

"My first target is just getting back on the training pitch with the lads and that should happen early next week."

A spell on the sidelines is an unfamiliar position for Carragher to find himself in - the commanding defender has been a virtual ever-present throughout his Liverpool career, having recorded 679 appearances for the Anfield club.

"It's the first time I've ever had a muscle injury in my life," he added. "I suppose that's not a bad record so I can't complain too much.

"The good thing is it wasn't a bad one and it has only kept me out for a short period. I was quite fortunate and it's not something that should happen again."

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