Oxlade-Chamberlain, nearing return, named in Liverpool’s UCL squad

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Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will return to full training sometime in February, and his hopes of returning to a meaningful role with Liverpool’s first team received a boost on Tuesday when he was registered in the Reds’ 25-man squad for the knockout rounds of the UEFA Champions League.

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Nine and a half months after tearing his ACL in Liverpool’s UCL semifinal against Roma — an injury that cost him a surefire place in the England squad for the 2018 World Cup — Oxlade-Chamberlain will rejoin his teammates sometime in the next two or three weeks with an eye toward being available for selection sometime in late March or early April. Jurgen Klopp‘s side is set to face Bayern Munich in the round of 16 beginning Feb. 19 at Anfield, followed by the return leg at the Allianz Arena on March 13.

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Upon returning to the field, Oxlade-Chamberlain will likely be eased back into action with minutes first coming as a late-game substitute, followed by a few 20- and 30-minute sub appearances, before being named in a starting lineup — something that might not happen until the start of the 2019-20 season in August.