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Monday 11 March 2013

Reina could return for trip to Southampton

Liverpool goalkeeper may be back while Paul Lambert is optimistic about Richard Dunne

  • Pepe Reina has made 23 League appearances for Liverpool this season

  • Richard Dunne's last competitive match for Aston Villa was against Norwich last season

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers could welcome back goalkeeper Pepe Reina from injury for Saturday’s match against Southampton.

The 30-year-old Spaniard missed Sunday's Barclays Premier League 4-2 victory over Tottenham Hotspur with a calf problem and was replaced in the starting line-up by Brad Jones. Rodgers believes the injury to Reina is not a serious one and should be back to help the Reds as they try to win their fourth League match in a row.

"It was disappointing because we thought he would probably make it [against Tottenham],” said Rodgers. "He had a tight calf in a fitness test and unfortunately for him he didn't get through it. Hopefully by next week he'll be fine.

"Big credit to Brad Jones, who came in at the last minute. He equipped himself terrifically today and made a great stop, especially in the first half."

Lambert says Dunne will return

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert has said Richard Dunne’s groin injury is not career-threatening.  

The 33-year-old, who joined Villa from Manchester City in 2009, has not played for Villa this season after suffering the injury while on Republic of Ireland duty at Uefa Euro 2012 last summer.

He has had three operations to try to solve the problem but has yet to return to the first team.

"It's been really complicated that injury," said Lambert. "Richard has been over to the United States a couple of times to try and get it sorted.  But there are little niggles that aren't clearing up. That's a real frustrating thing for him.

"Is it career-threatening? No, nothing like that. You can't say that. Richard has been trying his utmost to get back fit. He's been to the best people [specialists] on the other side of the world.

"He feels good at some points, but not so good at other times. He can't play through the pain barrier with that injury."

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Key Points

  • Liverpool's Pepe Reina could return for Saturday's match with Southampton
  • Spaniard missed win over Tottenham win a calf problem
  • Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert says Richard Dunne's groin injury is not career-threatening