Glen Johnson on Road to Recovery and Welcomed Return

Nabeel KhokharCorrespondent IFebruary 22, 2010

BLACKBURN, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 05:  Glen Johnson of Liverpool in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Blackburn Rovers and Liverpool at Ewood Park on December 5, 2009 in Blackburn, England.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

There are strong indications that Glen Johnson will be back on Liverpool’s first team next week, and it cannot come soon enough.


“Hopefully Glen will come back in the next week,” said manager, Rafa Benitez.


He, along with all Reds fans, would happily welcome his return as the club's right flank has been bereft of any attacking sentiment since Jamie Carragher filled in after the English fullback's injury.


Carragher is not to blame for this lack of attack; he is a defender’s defender, and his aversion to playing at right back is well-documented. Liverpool’s No. 23 has never been known to regularly gallop down the flank and cross a telling ball, but that is not why he has the love of the Kop.


With precious little creativity in the centre of Liverpool’s midfield, Johnson’s penetration down the right wing has been sorely missed.


After witnessing one of the Reds’ worst performances of the season against an equally inept Manchester City, Liverpool needs the powerful running of Johnson.


He's one of the few Liverpool players capable of taking players on and beating them.


The defence should take on a more balanced look with his return—something that hasn't been the case since late last December when Johnson tore his right knee's medial ligament.


Although very few positives came out of the numbingly poor display at Eastlands on Sunday, the returns of Yossi Benayoun and Fernando Torres were still highlights for the Reds fans.


As they come back to full fitness—Torres, in particular—Johnson's return could not have been timed better.


With the race for Champions League places intensifying with every game, Rafa Benitez will be all the happier to field his strongest lineup as the season approaches the business end of things.