Forgotten man Cole hands Liverpool a fitness boost as Rodgers looks to bolster his squad
10:23 GMT, 16 August 2012
Joe Cole looks set to be fit in time for the start of Liverpool’s Premier League season this weekend after returning to training after his hamstring injury.
The former England midfielder picked up the knock during the Europa League tie with Gomel in Belarus, but resumed training with the first-team squad last week and is expected to be in contention in time for Saturday's trip to West Brom.
Cole said: 'I trained on Thursday for the first time after the injury and it feels good.
Watching on: Joe Cole sits with Glen Johnson and Joe Allen as they watch the friendly with Bayer Leverkusen
'It’s good to be back around the squad and available for selection again. I’ve only missed two weeks, so I feel good fitness-wise as we had a good long pre-season and I just need some games now.
'It was frustrating having to come off in the first game of the season but that’s one of those things you have to deal with as a footballer. There’s never a good time to get injured but luckily it wasn’t a major thing and I’m back now raring to go and raring to be part of the team.
'I’ve had a good pre-season. I’ve trained really well and the training was really intense. I really enjoyed the games we played in and playing at Fenway Park was great. I enjoyed the pre-season. It does what it says on the tin – it gets you fit and that’s the main thing.’
Final preparations: Jay Spearing is watched by Brendan Rodgers as Liverpool train ahead of the weekend
Committed: Luis Suarez prepares for the new season after signing a new long term contract at Liverpool
Meanwhile, Rodgers says is still looking to bolster Liverpool's squad before the transfer window shuts at the end of the month
The Northern Irishman has been relatively sedate in his dealings since taking over at Anfield at the start of the summer, adding just Joe Allen and Fabio Borini to his squad.
Two signings are some way away from last summer's big-spending spree under Kenny Dalglish, but Rodgers has not given up hope of adding more new faces before the August 31 deadline.
Pass master: Lucas trains at Mellwood with Steven Gerrard
He said: 'There has been contact and communication with the clubs. The team of people behind myself are working very, very hard in relation to those targets.
'We hope that within the next number of weeks those will bear fruit.
'The work has been continual right the way through to try and get in players that fit the profile of Liverpool and the team. Like I say, I would hope there would be a couple more signings before the end of August.'
While Anfield's arrivals lounge has not been too busy this summer, a number of players, including Craig Bellamy and Dirk Kuyt, have gone through departures.
Eyes on the ball: Glen Johnson prepares for the new season
Ready for another campaign: Jamie Carragher gets ready for the West Brom game
Consequently, Rodgers has a slimmer squad than the one he inherited and has not ruled out the prospect of more players heading for pastures new.
He added: 'We obviously haven't brought in too many players, but there are some players that have gone out for a number of reasons.
'There is still a lot of work to do within the group and there will probably be more changes between now and the end of August in terms of ins and outs.
'Come the end of August when everyone is here, we can be real focused and be together, and start on the journey to hopefully having a real good campaign.'