GRAHAM DORRANS is edging closer to a return to action having come through Monday’s bounce game with Liverpool unscathed.

The midfield man has endured a torrid season with injury, making just three appearances with the last of those being back in September.

But now he is getting nearer to a comeback, with his next stage to play in a Reserve match in the coming weeks.

Speaking at today’s press conference, boss Gerrard said: “He is repeating training sessions now which is good to see. He injury is not on his mind anymore which is the key thing.

“It is probably too soon for him at the weekend, but we will look to try and get him some minutes in a reserve game coming up and then we will analyse him, probably in a week’s time to see where he is at.

“He has missed a lot of football and I don’t want to put Graham in when he’s not ready – I don’t think that will be fair on him. He is working extremely hard and pushing himself.

“He has had a frustrating time but, at the moment, he seems to be in a better place than he was two or three weeks ago.”

That bounce game prompted Gerrard to label the first-half performance in a 4-4 draw as “embarrassing” – and he expanded on that at today’s press conference.

He continued: “Certain individuals’ performance, effort, commitment and desire was embarrassing for this football club.

“A few within that did quite well. The idea of the game was for many reasons – for fitness as we use these bounce games to top people up with game-time and minutes – and there was also the fact we wanted to give Graham Dorrans some time and a good test for his knee coming back from injury.

“Also, we wanted to test some young players in and around our first-team players, so for us, it was a very important game. We wanted to get a lot out of it, but unfortunately, we got very little out of the first half and it wasn’t until we introduced four babies really who are 17 or 18 where there was a massive improvement and a massive gulf in desire, commitment and effort and just wanting to play football.

“So the second half was absolutely fantastic.”

Gerrard also gave an update on Jamie Murphy, saying: “Jamie Murphy I doubt it. Jamie has a chance of training with the squad before the end of the season, but with the last game being on astroturf, I don’t think it makes sense to push to show Jamie in one game before the end of the season.

“If that game was on grass, there would probably have been a better chance.”

And ahead of Sunday’s visit of Aberdeen, the manager revealed he could be without captain James Tavernier and striker Jermain Defoe, adding: “We have a couple of doubts at the moment. Tav and Jermain Defoe are doubts and won’t be seen in training today.

“Everyone else is fine. Tav jarred his knee in training yesterday and Jermain has a little bit of tightness in a muscle.

“We are hoping they will both be available.”

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