MARTIN KELLY is relishing the prospect of fighting for a place in the Liverpool side when he returns to action later this season.
The 22-year-old, who penned a new long-term contract earlier this month, is continuing his rehabilitation programme following surgery on the anterior cruciate ligament he ruptured against Manchester United back in September.
Kelly was recently given the green light to start jogging again at Melwood. A comeback remains some way off for the talented England international, but the hope is that in April he could be available for selection.
In his absence, Kelly has seen fellow Academy graduate Andre Wisdom promoted to the first team squad to compete with the likes of Glen Johnson and Jose Enrique for the full-back spots.
However, the Whiston-born defender is ready for a battle to force his way back into boss Brendan Rodgers’ plans.
"It’s always good at any club to have competition for places," Kelly said.
"Whether you are looking to take someone’s place, or you are looking behind at someone who is pushing for yours, it’s always a great thing to have. It helps you progress as a player.
"At Liverpool, the competition is at its highest because it is a top club.
"But I can learn from everyone in the team, not just the defenders."
Kelly has made most of his 54 Liverpool appearances at right-back but coming through the youth ranks he was a centre-half.