By North-west correspondent Alex Stevens

Dejan Lovren has hinted he could return for Liverpool’s showdown against Manchester United on Sunday.

The Croatia international gave an update on his fitness after being awarded Liverpool’s player of the month for December.

Lovren has missed the team’s last two matches after sustaining a minor hamstring injury 34 minutes into the Merseysiders’ League Cup semi-final win over Stoke nine days ago.

Manager Jurgen Klopp was hopeful the centre-back would only be out for 10 days and Lovren now believes he is close to being available for selection.

“I’m very satisfied with my injury, it’s going really quickly again,” the Standard Chartered Player of the Month for December told the Liverpool website.

“I cannot say exactly but I’ll be back soon, hopefully this week. We will not take a risk for one or two games. We still need time, but I’m coming back.

“[There are] so many games and, unfortunately, so many injuries also. The Premier League is so tough but we have a good squad, a big squad and a new player in, so it’s good.”

A series of fitness issues have left Klopp short of defensive cover in 2016 and on Tuesday the club signed Steven Caulker on loan from QPR until the end of the season.