Carroll set for European debut


LONDON, March 9 – Record signing Andy Carroll is poised to make his debut in European football when Liverpool face up to Sporting Braga in Portugal on Thursday in the last 16 of the Europa League.

The striker, who joined Kenny Dalglish’s side from Newcastle in January, made his first appearance for the club as a substitute in Sunday’s 3-1 win over Manchester United, after two months sidelined with a thigh injury.

He will continue his gradual introduction to the first team with a likely place on the bench in the first leg tie.

Head of sports medicine and sports science Peter Brukner said the club were pleased with how the player’s recuperation had gone since joining from Newcastle.

"It’s been a long process rehabilitating him – about eight or nine weeks – but we are happy with the result," said the Australian.

"We’ve seen steady improvement over that time; he’s much stronger in that tendon and in general as well.

"We still need to keep working with him and we want to build his training and playing load up to the level required.

"He’ll play some more minutes against Braga and hopefully he’ll be involved more and more with each game.

"Overall, we are really happy with his progress."