Joe Gomez and Virgil van Dijk took part in some ball work at the Liverpool training ground on Tuesday, while Jurgen Klopp welcomed another player after a long-lasting injury.
The Reds are in the midst of their longest uninterrupted training spell at Kirkby this season, due to the postponement of Sunday’s Premier League clash with Man United.
This allowed Klopp and his staff to oversee the extended preparations for the Southampton visit, and the manager held another session in front of the cameras on Tuesday afternoon.
Gomez and Van Dijk were not in the squad but were training separately away from home, with the No.12 seen working with the ball away for the first time since his knee injury in November.
Gomez is believed to be slightly behind Van Dijk in his recovery, but it could take a few weeks in between, both expected to be back in time for the preseason – with Joel Matip, who is also running away from home.
Van Dijk, meanwhile, could be seen performing a series of dynamic running drills, which is a big boost as he recovers his full movement after his ACL kick.
“In rehab, it always starts with running in a straight line. I don’t know if you’ve seen Virg run a lot of curves or just straight, ”Klopp said last week, after Van Dijk’s latest Instagram update.
“There is a lot to come, you go through a lot of stages until you are finally ready to join the team formation.”
While the manager has insisted “they’re all pretty far from this” including Jordan Henderson as well, it’s encouraging to see Gomez and Van Dijk getting closer to their returns in particular.
Tuesday’s session saw the return of Caoimhin Kelleher, sidelined with a stomach injury since early February.
Kelleher joined Alisson, Adrian and Harvey Davies in John Achterberg’s goaltending squad, while Klopp drafted academy right-back Conor Bradley for outsides.
Xherdan Shaqiri was also back, not having been spotted preparing for the trip to Man United, but there was no sign of James Milner – although that could simply be due to the vice-captain avoiding cameras.
The rest of the squad were as expected, with Divock Origi the only short-term absent beyond Van Dijk, Gomez, Matip and Henderson.
Liverpool squad in training on Tuesday
Goalkeepers: Alisson, Kelleher, Adrian, H. Davies
Defenders: Kabak, Phillips, R.Williams, Alexander-Arnold, Robertson, N.Williams, Tsimikas, Bradley
Midfielders: Fabinho, Wijnaldum, Thiago, Jones, Keita, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Shaqiri
Attackers: Salah, Mane, Firmino, Jota