By North-west correspondent Alex Stevens
Kevin Stewart has given Liverpool a boost by stepping up his comeback bid on the training ground.
The midfielder has been sidelined for three weeks with ankle ligament damage that was expected to keep him out until the end of March.
But Stewart has revealed that he is ahead of schedule in his recovery from the injury and is hopeful of being back in action soon.
The 22-year-old sustained the ankle injury just 24 hours after making his Premier League debut when he came off the bench in the 6-0 rout of Aston Villa on 14 February.
Asked for an update on his injury, Stewart told the Liverpool website: “It’s going really well. I didn’t expect it to get better so quick but I’ve been out on the pitch for about a week now doing some running and passing.
“So it’s gone a lot quicker than expected.”
Stewart signed a new four-and-a-half-year contract last month, which also includes the option of extending it for a further 12 months until 2021.
It is reward for the way Stewart forced his way into Jurgen Klopp’s plans with a string of accomplished performances since making his first-team debut in the FA Cup against Exeter in January.
Enfield-born Stewart joined the Reds on a free transfer in the summer of 2014 after being released by Tottenham.
The boyhood Liverpool fan arrived as an aspiring full-back but Academy director Alex Inglethorpe and under-21s coach Michael Beale always felt his future lay as a defensive midfielder.