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Liverpool boss treating Torres comeback with kid gloves

Rafa Benitez has reiterated that he will not be rushing Liverpool striker Fernando Torres back into his first-team plans. The Spaniard has shaken off a long-standing knee problem and is desperate to play a leading role for the Reds in what is left of the season.

He was drafted back into the fold for Sunday's 0-0 draw with Manchester City and came through a 15-minute run-out unscathed.

"We knew we could use him against City," Benitez told the club's official website.

"The idea was for 15-20 minutes, but still he is not ready. He needs match fitness and has to play and train and we will see later on how he is coming along.

"He was doing very well with the physios and fitness coach. He is really happy. We decided to put him in the squad (against City) because he was training well last Friday. Now he can carry on and progress. He will be ready soon.

"We have to be careful because it has been a long time. Now it is a question of one step at a time.

"You cannot push him too hard because you could lose the player and it is not necessary. We will see how he progresses and we will decide each day."

Benitez is also adamant that the striker will not be starting in Romania.

"We have to see him training and afterwards see how he is feeling," he added when pressed on the 25-year-old's involvement.

"Then we will decide, but he will not start."

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