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Liverpool's Oxlade-Chamberlain comeback ends prematurely

Oxlade-Chamberlain was substituted as a precaution, 41 minutes into his competitive return. Credit: PA

Liverpool midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's return to competitive action after 11 months out with a knee injury ended prematurely.

The England international was scheduled to play 45 minutes in the under-23s' Premier League 2 match at Derby but was taken off four minutes before half-time as a precaution.

Oxlade-Chamberlain had been holding his right hamstring a few minutes earlier and, Press Association Sport understands, Liverpool were not prepared to take any risks in his return from serious knee ligament damage sustained last April.

The 25-year-old had shown some nice touches during the time he was on the pitch, especially one low crossfield ball to the left wing with the outside of his right foot and another 50-yard diagonal with his left which was instantly controlled by Ben Woodburn.

However, it was very much a performance of feeling his way back in as he kept himself out of any trouble and there was little in the way of driving runs from midfield for which he is associated with.

Having been taken off just before the break, he took the five-minute walk back to the changing rooms with a physio during which time he happily posed for photographs with fans.

When asked how he was, Oxlade-Chamberlain said: "Yeah, all good."

After the 3-1 victory Liverpool's Under-23s coach Neil Critchley said of the midfielder's problem: "He obviously had a bit of an issue but hopefully it is nothing major.

"The bonus for him is it is not his knee, he is delighted there are no problems with that. He was enjoying himself and was happy to be back playing.

"What was good was he was sensible and came off quickly. I think he handled that situation well."

Liverpool's Oxlade-Chamberlain has successful knee surgery

Liverpool and England midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has undergone successful knee surgery.

The 24-year-old, who was ruled out of the rest of the season and this summer's World Cup after suffering a knee injury in the Champions League semi-final against Roma last month, shared a photo of himself recovering from the operation.

Alongside a picture of him in a hospital bed, Oxlade-Chamberlain wrote on Twitter: "Watching the boys in Rome last week taking us one step closer to something very special. Knee surgery was a success and the hard work has already begun."

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