Age seems to finally be catching up with Steven Gerrard, but the 31-year-old is closing in on his first Liverpool of the season and the talismanic midfielder is even in contention to make the bench this weekend away at Tottenham.
Gerrard has been virtually ever present for Liverpool since breaking into the first team in 1998, which is a testimony to his own determination and resolve.
This may be a particular surprise given the way that Gerrard wears his heart on his sleeve when pulling on the Liverpool shirt and commits fully into tackles, which on some occasions he is a 70-30 underdog to win.
It would be logical to think that one of these tackles would have by now kept him on the sidelines for a few months, but this has not proved the case.
The only other surprise is that for a player with such a good appearance record, it is somewhat baffling how injury ruled him out of so many England friendlies, particularly in his younger days, but that is a discussion for another day.
However, last season was easily Gerrard’s worst in terms of Liverpool appearances and was only the second time that he failed to reach 50 games in a season for club and country.
The current campaign could follow a similar stop-start pattern as he battles to overcome a groin injury that has left him a frustrated figure in the stands since March.
Manager Kenny Dalglish has been patient with this recovery and this is set to pay off soon with Gerrard back in full training and quickly getting up to speed of working with the first team.
Despite the decent starts to Liverpool life of Charlie Adam and Jordan Henderson in particular, a fit Gerrard will provide that extra passion and will to win that could salvage some valuable extra points this season.
And there is every reason to believe that his partnership with Adam could hold the key to Liverpool unlocking the door back into the top four.
Liverpool’s odds are still 4/6 to finish in the top four despite their hiccup at Stoke and it is 6/4 that they do their chances of achieving this feat the power of good with a victory at Tottenham next.