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Rodgers delighted with Gerrard's progress
Jul 03, 2013 8:15 AM EST
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers insists that Steven Gerrard will remain 'integral' to his plans for years to come.
The Reds captain missed the final two games of the 2012-13 season through injury but was back training with his team-mates on the first day of pre-season and is set to continue a key role.
"He's 33 now but Steven is still an integral part of what I'm trying to do here and will be for the next few years," Rodgers told reporters.
"He had his operation towards the end of the season and the plan was for him to continue his rehab over the off-season."
The injury that prevented Gerrard from appearing in the final games of the season resulted in surgery, prompting fears that the midfielder might miss the start of this season, but Rodgers is confident that his talisman will be ready.
"It's a big credit to him - he's worked tirelessly over the summer," the 40-year-old enthused. "He won't be too far away. He looks great and is in great condition."
Gerrard, a product of the Liverpool youth academy, has made more than 400 appearances for the club.
Liverpool will play Melbourne Victory at the MCG on July 24 as part of a three-match Asian tour.