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Liverpool's Brendan Rodgers: 'Luis Suarez still part of the group'

Rodgers: 'Suarez still part of the group'
© AP Photos
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers insists that he is working hard to make Luis Suarez part of his pre-season plans.

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has declared that he is working hard to integrate Luis Suarez into his pre-season plans.

Suarez has been consistently linked with a summer move to Arsenal, but joined the Reds on their pre-season tour of Australia and the Far East last week.

Rodgers told Sky Sports News: "He has still got some way to go. He is a number of weeks behind the other players.

"I also have to consider that our focus over the course of pre-season is for the first game [of the Premier League] and Luis will not be available for the first game. But it is important he is very much part of the group.

"He is working hard on his conditioning and over the course of time as he gets closer to playing we will build him up to more minutes on the field."

The Uruguayan stepped up his push for fitness by playing 29 minutes for Liverpool in a 3-0 win over Thailand on Sunday.

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Liverpool's Iago Aspas and Thailand's Pokklao Anun battle for the ball during a friendly match on July 28, 2013
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Result: Liverpool put three past Thailand

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