Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson admits captain Steven Gerrard’s anticipated return from a hamstring injury this weekend is "touch and go."
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The midfielder has not featured for his club since November 13 at Stoke after sustaining the problem on England duty four days later.
Last week Hodgson pencilled in Saturday’s match at home to Fulham for a comeback but now he is not so sure.
"Steven Gerrard is not fit and will be touch and go for Fulham," he said.
"He is training every day and training harder than anyone and doing the work with the sports science and fitness people.
"If you look the statistics after training every day as to who has done the most running it is probably Gerrard and Daniel Agger (who has a calf problem), as they are the two trying to get back fit.
"But they are doing it in a controlled circumstance; the sports science people are controlling their movements, their running, their turning and certainly their kicking.
"At the moment the sports science/conditioning people have not said to me ‘You can have these two back in your training sessions’ and I am still waiting for when that will happen.
"I am hoping against hope it will be towards the end of the week and they will be able to considered for the weekend, in particular Steven who is ahead of Daniel, but I don’t know if that is the case."
Earlier the Reds boss had suggested he wanted the 30-year-old back in full training sessions by Thursday in order to be able to select him for the weekend.
But he is also conscious of bringing the player back too quickly.
"We have to be careful there is no risk of the injury reoccurring and I am in the hands to some extent of the sports science people as to when he can come back," he said.
"I take their word for it and I can’t really push the subject because I would be devastated if we brought him back too early.
"Wednesday is a day off for those who won’t be playing against Utrecht and if he is going to start the game against Fulham I definitely want him back training with us on Thursday, that’s for sure. That’s the deadline."