The Spaniard drew another blank against Fulham yesterday and Benitez said: "Having Fernando back is important because we are playing against top defences.
"Last season he was crucial for us, and I believe he will be so again this season.
"In the Carling Cup recently he was not fit. In the game against Bolton as a substitute we saw more from him.
"Watching him play for Spain against Chile on Wednesday, there was a little more improvement. Hopefully now he will get better every week.
"He can complete 90 minutes now, and that is important with the Champions League game coming up.
"Torres needed match-fitness, and I watched the match on TV and it was a hard one, very quick.
"But he scored and played well. Now hopefully he can start scoring again for us."