Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez has pledged to be patient with Alberto Aquilani and has hinted that the £20million summer signing will not be involved against Manchester United on Sunday.
There have been calls for Aquilani to play against the champions following his first appearance for the Anfield club in midweek, but Benitez has pledged to take his time with the fragile midfielder.
The Italy international came on towards the end of a 2-0 second-string victory over Sunderland at Prenton Park on Wednesday after finally shrugging off a knee problem that had overshadowed his first three months on Merseyside.
However, Benitez has vowed to take no chances with the player he signed to replace Xabi Alonso, who left to join Real Madrid in August.
"When will he play? It depends on how he is physically," said the Spaniard, whose side have lost four straight games.
"He has got very good levels of stamina but now he has to improve his sharpness.
"To get match fitness he needs to play games and what we have to do is analyse carefully which game is the best and how long he will play for.
"Always with a new player we talk about the problems they have settling down because the Premier League is very quick and it is more physical.
"So for a new player who has been injured, like Alberto, it will be even more difficult. It is a question of keeping him training and when he is fit, we have to support him.
"We will have to choose the right moments to put him on the pitch. But he is learning all the time and we are looking forward to playing him."