Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard may be recovering quicker than anticipated from a groin infection but Reds manager Kenny Dalglish still expects to be without his skipper until next month.
The England midfielder was troubled by a groin problem last season and Liverpool announced last week he would miss the start of the upcoming campaign because of an infection that required hospital treatment.
"Steven won't be too far away," Liverpool great Dalglish said on Wednesday.
"All the tests that have come back are far better than what was anticipated so we're delighted with that for him.
"He's had some really positive news and we'll just wait for the progress to continue," the former Scotland international added. "But the date that has been mentioned hasn't been changed."
Liverpool have conceded three goals in each of their five pre-season games, including defeats by Hull and Galatasary, but Dalglish is expecting very different results when he can select his first-choice team.
"It could have been better but we've had a lot of people coming in at various times.
"Everybody that has been with us has got a reasonable amount of time on the pitch. As we get closer to the Sunderland game (Liverpool's first match of the new Premier League season) we'll pare it down a little bit."
Charlie Adam will hope to stake his claim in central midfield after finally being granted permission to join Liverpool from nearby Blackpool.
The Seasiders blocked a transfer in January as they battled, ultimately unsuccessfully, against relegation, and Adam feared his chance of a move to Anfield may have disappeared.
"When you're at a club that's fighting relegation you know it's going to be difficult to leave," Adam said.
"The situation was I wanted to come to a massive club like this. Blackpool made the decision that I couldn't go and I respected that.
"I think the performances I had from January until the end of the season proved I was 110 percent behind the club," the Scot added.
"I'm just delighted to be here as a Liverpool player. It's time to move on and look forward to the future."