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Liverpool coach Clarke: We will be careful with Lucas, Suarez

Liverpool coach Steve Clarke says they'll be careful with their Copa America pair Luis Suarez and Lucas Leiva.

They are likely to miss a chunk of the club's pre-season preparations - meaning they'll have to race to be fully fit for the opening weekend of the Barclays Premier League campaign on August 13/14.

Clarke is adamant neither will be rushed back to action.

"We wish them all the best for their countries and we'll look after them," the first-team coach told Liverpoolfc.tv. "It'll be up to us to make sure we put them in at the right time.

"The most important thing is they get adequate recovery time.

"Obviously we'd like all the players to come in on the first day of pre-season to do a full pre-season and be ready for the start with us, but it's not the case.

"Now in football you just have to accept that different countries and different continents have their own tournaments and their own times.

"It's up to the boys to go there and do their best for their countries. When they come back we'll assess the situation, assess them fitness-wise, physically and mentally - then we'll decide how we fit them into our training schedule.

"If they are ready to start the season, fine - if they need a little bit longer to recover, that's why you have a big squad. It will give other people a chance."

 It's kicking off again! Click here for your No1 source for Liverpool transfer market news and gossip.

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