Dalglish confident over key duo’s fitness

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish expects Steven Gerrard and Pepe Reina to be fully fit in time for the new English Premier League season.Gerrard and Reina are both recuperating from surgery while their team-mates take a pre-season trip to China.

Captain Gerrard is still recovering from a groin operation that saw him miss the end-of-season run-in, while goalkeeper Reina had double hernia surgery last month.

Dalglish, however, remains upbeat on their chances of being available to face Sunderland on the opening day of the season, August 13.

“Steven is injured at the moment and that’s why he’s not here with us,” Dalgish said from Guangzhou, where Liverpool will play their first friendly on Wednesday.

“I know people are disappointed he isn’t here with us but the disappointment would be far greater if he couldn’t play the first (Premier League) game.”

“That is why he has stayed at home, to rest and to have the best chance of being fit for the start of the season.”

“He has made a fantastic recovery. He needs to get a couple of niggles out the way and he will be fit for the start of the season against Sunderland.”

“The same situation applies to Pepe. He isn’t fit and so had to stay at home. He should be ready for the start of the season.”