Injuries hasten Jones's return

 

ONLY two months after being told his career was in jeopardy, Rob Jones will tonight return to Liverpool's senior side.

Although still some way from full match fitness the England defender will line up against Middlesbrough in the English League Cup quarter-final at the Riverside Stadium. Jones has been sidelined since last May's FA Cup final defeat by Manchester United because of a serious back injury.

"Obviously, I am absolutely delighted to be on the way back because eight months is a long time to be out of the game," he said.

Jones is recalled several weeks ahead of schedule through necessity rather than sentiment. Stan Collymore, John Barnes, Neil Ruddock and Jamie Redknapp will be absent from Liverpool's starting line-up because of illness or injury while Robbie Fowler is given only a 50-50 chance of recovering from an ankle injury. If Fowler does not play tonight, Mark Kennedy is likely to start a senior game for the first time in 18 months.