Fernando Torres Fit in Europa League Semifinal Clash Against Atletico Madrid

George HouseContributor IApril 16, 2010

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MARCH 15:  Fernando Torres of Liverpool celebrates scoring his team's fourth goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Portsmouth at Anfield on March 15, 2010 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Michael Regan/Getty Images

Liverpool striker Fernando Torres is right on schedule to return to the field just in time to face his former club Atletico Madrid in their Europa League semifinal first leg next week.

The Spanish international was not able to play in Liverpool’s goalless stalemate against Fulham on Sunday and traveled to Barcelona to see Dr. Ramón Cugat.

Torres missed a month with a knock to the same knee earlier in the season, but the doctor has insisted that the star striker’s injury is not a severe one.

"The problem is not serious but he needs to stop and rest to avoid more risk because it's the same knee on which he had surgery in January,” Cugat told The Guardian .

“In normal circumstances, he could be ready to play next week, depending on how it settles down. The decision is now up to Liverpool's medical staff and the manager."

There is a possibility that Torres could be ready for Monday’s match against West Ham United, a game that Liverpool have to win in order to keep their slim hopes at Champions League qualification alive.

With his club nearly out of contention for fourth place, winning the Europa League could get Benitez’s full attention.