Liverpool’s Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will return to action for their Under-23s against Derby County on Friday after almost a year out with injury.

The midfielder has been sidelined since April 2018 with a knee ligament injury suffered in the Champions League semi-final against Roma.

Oxlade-Chamberlain, 25, returned to first-team training in February.

“Probably it will be 45 minutes and that’s absolutely OK,” said Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp.

“All that we saw so far in training looks really good, but it is a massive difference between playing a proper game.”

Klopp says Liverpool will not rush the England international back to first-team action.

“There is absolutely no expectation on the game apart from go through it, tick that box, come back and go on training again,” said the German.

“It doesn’t say anything about him ‘being ready for five days later’ or whatever.

“It is just a first – and very, very important – step. Now we have to make sure we really prepare him for the rest of his career and the rest of this season.”

Oxlade-Chamberlain was included in Liverpool’s squad for the Champions League knockout stages when it was named in February.

Liverpool are one point behind Premier League leaders Manchester City with nine games of the season remaining.

The Reds play the second leg of a last-16 Champions League tie at German club Bayern Munich on 13 March following a 0-0 draw at Anfield.

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