Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson believes Joe Cole has an outside chance of facing his former club Chelsea this weekend.
Cole appeared to have been ruled out for a fortnight following scans on the hamstring injury that forced him off during the second half of Sunday’s win at Bolton.
But Hodgson insists the 28-year-old’s injury is not serious and has not discounted him for the Sunday’s Barclays Premier League clash with the champions at Anfield.
Hodgson told the club’s website, www.liverpoolfc.tv: “With Cole it’s not as bad as feared. It shouldn’t keep him out for that long.
“I would say it’s a week to 10-day injury. The scan was positive in that it’s a very minor tear he has, but you can’t really put a definite date on how long that tear is going to take to repair. But the physical people are very optimistic.
“It’s a question of how quickly he can recover and what progress he can make.
“At the moment he’s not even ruled out for the Chelsea game but we’ll see how he goes later in the week.”
England international Cole is trying to establish himself at Liverpool after leaving Stamford Bridge on a free transfer in the summer.
The injury will definitely keep him out of Thursday’s Europa League group match against Napoli.
Full-back Glen Johnson could feature against the Italians at Anfield after four games out with a thigh injury.
Forward Dirk Kuyt continues to make good progress in his recovery from an ankle injury and could come into contention to face Chelsea.
The Dutchman was injured on international duty last month but the problem has not proved as bad as first thought.
“For the weekend he’s a possibility if all goes well with the training sessions on Friday and Saturday,” Hodgson said.
The news is not so positive for Daniel Agger, who looks set to remain on the sidelines for some time. The Dane has been out since September 25.
Hodgson said: “It’s a question of time and there’s not so much more the physios and medical staff can do. We have to be patient.”