He's back! Fit-again Steven Gerrard ready for Liverpool's Manchester City test and aims to reignite Rafa Benitez's stuttering season

By Sportsmail Reporter

Steven Gerrard has given a major boost to Rafa Benitez's bid to revive Liverpool's faltering season after the Reds skipper announced he is ready to take on Manchester City this weekend.

Gerrard has been sidelined for several weeks with a groin injury and in the absence of their talisman Liverpool have suffered damaging defeats to Fulham in the Premier League and Lyon in the Champions League.

The 29-year-old England midfielder rescued a point by scoring a penalty against Birmingham on his return to first-team action last week, but Gerrard has revealed he was far from fit.

Raring to go: Steven Gerrard

Raring to go: Steven Gerrard wants to play against Manchester City this weekend

Now, however, he is raring to go: 'I felt very tired after the game, as I wasn't really ready to return (against Birmingham) and I'd done very little training in the three weeks beforehand,' he said.

'It took me two or three days to recover from that game but I have spent the past week doing strengthening work and I'm feeling a lot better now. I'm looking forward to the weekend. There's no mental hurdle to cross.  

'I've had a problem in my groin that has taken a while to get over but I'm just relieved the second injection seems to have done the trick. 

Steven Gerrard scores his team's equaliser from the penalty spot against Birmingham

Hero's return: Gerrard equalised from the penalty spot against Birmingham (above) last week but suffered after the game due to lack of fitness (below)

Steven Gerrard reacts at the end of the match between Liverpool and Birmingham

'It's a case of so far so good and the aim now is to make sure I get a good week's training under my belt so I'm ready for the game with City.'

Gerrard admits it has been frustrating to miss the key matches with Manchester United and Lyon, as well as clashes against Sunderland, Arsenal and Fulham during his spell on the sidelines - especially as the team have not fared well in his absence.

'Some of the lowest points in my career have come about when I have had to miss big games for Liverpool and England through injury.  

'It's never easy when you have to sit out games against Manchester United or trips away from home in the Champions League.  

'If the lads are winning games and doing well, it makes the pain a bit easier so obviously the last couple of weeks have been extra frustrating.  

'But I'm feeling good now, a lot stronger than before and it's just a question of getting my match sharpness back now. That is the most important thing.'


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