Dalglish: Duo fit for kick-off

Both key players were left behind when the squad flew out on Sunday

to China for a mini-tour of the Far East. Gerrard is continuing his

rehabilitation from groin surgery which ended his campaign in

mid-March while Reina had a double hernia operation last month.

“Steven is injured at the moment and that’s why he’s not here with

us,” said Dalglish at a press conference after landing in

Guangzhou, where the team will play their first friendly in China

on Wednesday. “He has made a fantastic recovery from his operation

towards the end of last season. “He just needs to get the final

couple of niggles out of the way and then he will be fit for the

start of the season against Sunderland. “I know people are

disappointed he isn’t here with us but the disappointment would be

far greater if he couldn’t play the first (Premier League) game.

“That is why he has stayed at home, to rest and to have the best

chance of being fit for the start of the season. “The same

situation applies to Pepe (Reina) – he had a double hernia

operation in June. “He isn’t fit and so had to stay at home. He

should be ready for the start of the season.” Liverpool’s new

signing Charlie Adam made the trip to the Far East, having sealed

his move from Blackpool on Thursday, but Jordan Henderson, who

moved from Sunderland last month, has been on extended leave after

playing for England Under-21s at the European Championships in

Denmark. The Reds have been linked with a renewed bid for Aston

Villa winger Stewart Downing while a number of fringe players are

likely to be offloaded before the start of the new season. “We are

happy with the business we have done so far,” added Dalglish.

“Hopefully we will do some more business before the window closes

but I’m not going to give names because that’s disrespectful. “We

are looking to bring other players in and that could mean we expect

some to leave. “That’s football but we have a while to go yet and

we’ll see what we can do.”