Former Liverpool head physio Mark Leather is backing the club's assessment that Harvey Elliott could play again this season.
Elliott is recovering from ankle surgery after suffering a dislocation against Leeds United on Sunday.
Leather told the Liverpool Echo: “It's positive to say they're hoping he's back before the end of the season. Is it realistic? Yes? Would it be the end of the world if he's not? No. No, it wouldn't be because the most important thing is he comes back at the first time of asking, correctly and safely, because we know, historically, the best time to get anything sorted properly with an injury is to do it first time.
“To not keep fiddling and poking and throwing people back into action, so it becomes a longer, drawn-out process of re-injury and constantly having issues for a long period of time.
“You don't want to go down that route, especially with a young player, where they'll be out for quite a considerable period of time with other niggles associated with that initial injury.
“That's the problem and the medical staff and the conditioning staff will be working to guidelines and monitoring him daily and weekly to see how he is progressing and how much workload they are putting, not just on the ankle but his body through generally.
“All that is taken into consideration and sometimes it does take a little longer to get back and you suffer niggles or other muscle injuries elsewhere, and they try and avoid that for obvious reasons because it is just delaying the return to playing because of secondary issues.
“He won't be back this year as I don't think anyone with that injury could be back in 8-10 weeks, for example as it will take longer than that for those damaged tissues to repair fully, heal and to be strengthened, appropriately trained and conditioned over a longer period of time.
“Towards the end of the season, he could be back in action."
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