Rafa Benitez has reiterated that he will not be rushing Fernando Torres back into his first-team plans.

The Spaniard has shaken off a long-standing knee problem and is desperate to play a leading role for the Reds in what is left of the 2009/10 campaign.

He was drafted back into the fold for Sunday’s 0-0 draw with Manchester City and came through a 15-minute run-out unscathed.

Torres could be handed another opportunity to step up his match fitness against Unirea Urziceni in the Europa League on Thursday, as he has been included in Liverpool’s travelling party.

Benitez, though, will ponder long and hard before throwing his most prolific striker back into action, as he is wary of asking too much of Torres and forcing him back onto the sidelines.

„We knew we could use him against City,” Benitez told the club’s official website.

„The idea was for 15-20 minutes, but still he is not ready. He needs match fitness and has to play and train and we will see later on how he is coming along.

„He was doing very well with the physios and fitness coach. He is really happy. We decided to put him in the squad (against City) because he was training well last Friday. Now he can carry on and progress. He will be ready soon.

„We have to be careful because it has been a long time. Now it is a question of one step at a time.

„You cannot push him too hard because you could lose the player and it is not necessary. We will see how he progresses and we will decide each day.”

While Benitez is prepared to give Torres valuable match time against Unirea in midweek, he is adamant that his fellow countryman will not be starting in Romania.

„We have to see him training and afterwards see how he is feeling,” he added when pressed on the 25-year-old’s involvement.

A look at the headlines that are making the back pages of Monday’s national newspapers.

Pictures from Sunday’s Premier League action where Aston Villa knock five past Burnley at Villa Park.

All the best pictures from Liverpool and Fulham’s Europa League games on Thursday night.

Liverpool’s 1-0 win over Wolves in 2004. Can you name the mystery starting XI?

Liverpool midfielder Lucas recognises that Fernando Torres’ return to fitness is a ‘massive boost’.

Ryan Babel is hoping he can now display his best form for Liverpool following talks with Rafa Benitez.

Liverpool boss Rafa Benitiez maintains the Europa League is a big part of his plans for the rest of the season.

Teenager Nikola Saric is uncertain when he will make his Liverpool debut, but he is remaining positive.

Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez is confident Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque will be cautious with Fernando Torres’ fitness.

Get a sports star to visit your old secondary school as part of our free schools initiative.

Read the article on Sky Sports

Rafa will not risk Torres

Rafa Benitez has reiterated that he will not be rushing Fernando Torres back into his first-team plans.

The Spaniard has shaken off a long-standing knee problem and is desperate to play a leading role for the Reds in what is left of the 2009/10 campaign.

He was drafted back into the fold for Sunday’s 0-0 draw with Manchester City and came through a 15-minute run-out unscathed.

Torres could be handed another opportunity to step up his match fitness against Unirea Urziceni in the Europa League on Thursday, as he has been included in Liverpool’s travelling party.

Benitez, though, will ponder long and hard before throwing his most prolific striker back into action, as he is wary of asking too much of Torres and forcing him back onto the sidelines.

„We knew we could use him against City,” Benitez told the club’s official website.

„The idea was for 15-20 minutes, but still he is not ready. He needs match fitness and has to play and train and we will see later on how he is coming along.

„He was doing very well with the physios and fitness coach. He is really happy. We decided to put him in the squad (against City) because he was training well last Friday. Now he can carry on and progress. He will be ready soon.

„We have to be careful because it has been a long time. Now it is a question of one step at a time.

„You cannot push him too hard because you could lose the player and it is not necessary. We will see how he progresses and we will decide each day.”

While Benitez is prepared to give Torres valuable match time against Unirea in midweek, he is adamant that his fellow countryman will not be starting in Romania.

„We have to see him training and afterwards see how he is feeling,” he added when pressed on the 25-year-old’s involvement.

A look at the headlines that are making the back pages of Monday’s national newspapers.

Pictures from Sunday’s Premier League action where Aston Villa knock five past Burnley at Villa Park.

All the best pictures from Liverpool and Fulham’s Europa League games on Thursday night.

Liverpool’s 1-0 win over Wolves in 2004. Can you name the mystery starting XI?

Liverpool midfielder Lucas recognises that Fernando Torres’ return to fitness is a ‘massive boost’.

Ryan Babel is hoping he can now display his best form for Liverpool following talks with Rafa Benitez.

Liverpool boss Rafa Benitiez maintains the Europa League is a big part of his plans for the rest of the season.

Teenager Nikola Saric is uncertain when he will make his Liverpool debut, but he is remaining positive.

Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez is confident Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque will be cautious with Fernando Torres’ fitness.

Get a sports star to visit your old secondary school as part of our free schools initiative.

Read the article on Sky Sports

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