(CNN) -- Steven Gerrard is winning the race to be fit for Liverpool's crunch Premier League clash against relegation battlers Newcastle on Sunday.
Gerrard's return will boost Liverpool as they bid to win the Premier League title.
The England midfielder has returned to training after recovering from a groin injury and manager Rafael Benitez is optimistic.
"Steven is doing well and is training with the rest of the team. I think he will be fit and available for Sunday," he told the official club Web site www.liverpoolfc.tv.
"It is good news for the team and for him because he can be a key player for us over the remaining games."
It is a welcome boost for Liverpool, who are pushing Manchester United hard in the title race, but running out of games.
United are in action on Saturday when they face struggling Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium and could be six points clear by the time Liverpool play again.
The Anfield clash has significance at both ends of the table, with 19th-placed Newcastle desperate for points in the relegation battle.
Benitez has had to reject renewed speculation linking Spanish midfielder Xabi Alonso with a move to Serie A Juventus.
"I was reading the press and they are talking about different players," Benitez said.
"I can guarantee today that we are not thinking about selling anyone. All we are thinking about is to do our job and to try and win the Premier League title, if possible."