Gerrard targets Spurs for comeback
Steven Gerrard has not played for club or country since March after undergoing surgery on a groin injury. His prolonged absence from the pitch has prompted questions over whether he will ever be able recapture his top form but Gerrard, who is expected to resume full training next week, is feeling in good shape.
"I'm in good shape and feel better than ever. My body weight, fat levels and upper body strength are all good," he told the Liverpool Echo.
"My groin has been fixed and is as strong as ever. What I've done over the past four weeks tells me that's the case and I've got total confidence in it.
"But it will take time for people to see me out playing again and playing well for them to believe what I'm saying in this interview."
He added: "To be honest it gets to the stage with me that if there are no rumours about my private life or my football it's not normal.
"I'm used to it all. I've heard the whispers - Gerrard is finished and he's not going to be the player he was.
"I can't worry or concentrate too much on what fans or people in the press are whispering to themselves. I can't control all that. If people believe that's the case then they will be in for a surprise.
"Hearing stuff like that doesn't give me any extra motivation. The motivation for me is to captain this team to a successful season. I'm looking to come in, strengthen the squad and push on with the lads to hopefully have a good year."
Gerrard has been impressed with the way Liverpool have conducted their business in the transfer market this summer, offloading several fringe players and bringing in the likes of Charlie Adam, Craig Bellamy, Stewart Downing, Jose Enrique and Jordan Henderson.
"They have shifted a lot of players who were no longer involved and were sitting on good contracts," added the skipper. "They've done unbelievably well to move them on to other clubs.
"And they have brought in some quality players who are hungry and want to do well for the club. I'm really happy with the shape and the numbers we have in the squad and I'm excited about this season. You want to play with good players and I just can't wait to get back and lead the lads out."
Gerrard revealed that he is eyeing the Premier League clash with Tottenham in a fortnight's time as a possible comeback date. He said on Liverpool's official website: "I feel really good and I'm back kicking balls again - it's all positive.
"I should be back in full training with the team on Thursday or Friday of next week.
"I won't be involved against Stoke next Saturday but my plan is to hopefully be involved in the game against Tottenham. It will be Kenny's decision when I come back in."
Liverpool play Spurs at White Hart Lane on September 18. Gerrard added: "At the moment it's all good and I'm itching to get back. In fact it's worse than itching, my stomach is turning.
"It's been a tough five months for me since I had the surgery. It's been up and down emotionally and I've missed playing so much.
"I've had a good rest, I'm fired up and I'm raring to go again. I know I'm going to come back fitter, stronger and hungrier than ever."
Gerrard had initially been expected to be back for the start of the new campaign but he suffered a setback in July when he was admitted to hospital with an infection related to the groin injury.
He said: "Since coming out of hospital my rehab has gone really well. I'm really happy and positive again."