Mario Balotelli will be available for Liverpool’s home Premier League match against Aston Villa on Saturday after recovering from illness, manager Brendan Rodgers said.
The Italy striker, signed for 16 million pounds ($26 million) from AC Milan last month, missed training on Thursday, adding to Rodgers` concerns after a string of injuries to the likes of Daniel Sturridge and Joe Allen.
“Mario has had a bit of a bug that we wanted to make sure he didn’t spread around the group,” Rodgers told the Liverpool Echo. “But he’ll be okay for Saturday.”
Liverpool’s squad faces a severe test with seven matches in 21 days, beginning with the visit of Villa.
They play Bulgarian side Ludogorets Razgrad on Tuesday in the Champions League, then West Ham United away next Saturday and have a Merseyside derby against Everton lurking.
Having no European football last season was seen as major advantage for Liverpool as they challenged strongly for the title, but Rodgers believes his squad now has the depth to cope with challenges on multiple fronts.
“We have options now and that`s key for us,” Rodgers, who spent more than 100 million pounds on the likes of Southampton`s Adam Lallana, Dejan Lovren and Rickie Lambert, Emre Can and Alberto Moreno, said.
“We had a great window in terms of the calibre of players we brought in.
“We signed young players with quality and some with more experience as that`s what we needed,” Rodgers added.