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Gerrard and Cole close to returns

Liverpool's head of sports medicine, Dr Peter Brukner, has confirmed Steven Gerrard is likely to face Newcastle a week on Saturday.

Gerrard was ruled out for four weeks after suffering a hamstring injury during England's friendly defeat to France on November 17, but he is making good progress and is set to return to training next week.

Brukner told the club's official website: "Steven's going well. He's back running, though not back in training.

"He's certainly looking good to play the Newcastle game, which has been our target all along. We're hoping he'll be back in training at the start of next week. Everything's gone to plan."

Joe Cole, who was also sidelined with a hamstring problem, looks set to return to the side for Thursday's game at Steaua Bucharest.

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