Liverpool boss Matt Beard has confirmed winger Melissa Lawley could make her long-awaited return from injury in this weekend's Women's Super League (WSL) clash with Aston Villa.
Lawley was a standout performer for the Reds last term but hasn't featured since she aggravated a long-term hip problem in April. After undergoing surgery, Lawley began her rehabilitation at the AXA Training Centre over the summer before returning to team training at Melwood last month.
Beard had hoped to have the 12-cap England international back available for the Merseyside derby at Anfield on October 15, but the Liverpool boss has now confirmed Lawley is ahead of schedule and could be in the matchday squad on Sunday.
"Mel’s worked incredibly hard over the off-season," he said. "She’s slowly but surely getting there and we’re looking forward to having her available." Beard will still be without club-record signing Sophie Roman-Haug this weekend, with the Norwegian set to see a specialist after sustaining fractures to the nose and face while away on international duty.
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Fellow attackers Shanice van de Sanden and Leanne Kiernan also remain sidelined through injury for this weekend's clash at Prenton Park. Liverpool go into Sunday's contest off the back of a sensational opening day win over Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.
And while Beard concedes Villa will pose plenty of problems for his side, he is hopeful the Reds can build on their strong start to the season with another victory this weekend.
"It will be a completely different game this weekend," he said. "Villa play a very different game to Arsenal. They’re veryRead on liverpoolecho.co.uk