aurelio to fight for his place

LIVERPOOL's Brazilian fullback Fabio Aurelio said yesterday he was hoping to prove his fitness this week in time for a possible return to first-team action for key domestic and European matches.

LIVERPOOL's Brazilian fullback Fabio Aurelio said yesterday he was hoping to prove his fitness this week in time for a possible return to first-team action for key domestic and European matches.

Aurelio damaged his knee in a kickabout with friends while on holiday in Brazil earlier in the summer and has not played since a cartilage operation.

He will play in a practice match today hoping to prove he is fit for a comeback as Liverpool face promoted Burnley at Anfield on Saturday, and are at home to Hungarian side Debrecen in their opening Champions League group match next Wednesday.

"I am feeling good and working hard to try and get back into the squad for Saturday," Aurelio said.

"The international break came at a good time for me because I have been able to work hard and not miss too many games. I'm playing in a practice game (today) and I hope to prove my fitness and be involved against Burnley. I have been training for three weeks now and I can't wait to get back. The injury could not have come at a worse time.

"I was with my brother-in-law and some friends playing football and joking around and suddenly I felt something strange in my knee. I called my old team, Sao Paulo, and they examined the knee and found there was a cartilage injury.

"I then phoned Liverpool and got permission to get the knee operated on. It was my holiday and I spent the rest of the time recovering.

"The good thing is it feels fine now. I am now back and hoping to help the team. I played in a practice game last week and I felt good."

In his absence, Argentinian youngster Emiliano Insua has taken the left-back berth, and Aurelio knows he faces tough competition for a place in the team. - Sapa-AFP

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