BRENDAN RODGERS has ruled out a return to action for Liverpool defender Martin Kelly before the end of the season.
The 22-year-old England international has started training again following the anterior cruciate ligament injury he suffered against Manchester United back in September.
However, the Reds boss, who demonstrated his faith in Kelly by handing him a new contract in February, intends to adopt a cautious approach with the Academy graduate.
“Martin is working very hard and making good progress,” Rodgers said.
“He is in between the training group and the rehab group.
“But there’s no point in rushing him back at this stage of the season.
“There are no thoughts for Martin to play between now and the end of the season.
“We just have to make sure we get him back fully fit and the objective was always to get him ready for pre-season.
“He’s a player who did very well when he played at the start of the season.
“He has shown his talent and it will be a boost to have him back in the squad for next season.”
Raheem Sterling, who has been hampered by a thigh problem since last month’s victory at Aston Villa, has responded well to treatment.
The teenage winger is back training and could still have a part to play over the remaining four games against Newcastle, Everton, Fulham and Queens Park Rangers.
His Liverpool manager Rodgers: “It’s only been a precaution with Raheem. With him being so young, we’re protecting him.”