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Jose Enrique's delight at return after long absence - what does the future hold?

The left-back played all of last night's epic League Cup encounter with Middlesbrough.

Liverpool left-back Jose Enrique made his first start since October last year for the Reds in last night's penalty shoot-out win over Middlesbrough.

The Spaniard missed most of last season with a knee injury but was able to play all 120 minutes for the Reds last night, and score a penalty in the 14-13 spot-kick victory, after the game finished 2-2 after extra time.

On his Instagram page, he posted: "Happy to start again after 11 months in an official match. And of course even more happy because the team win and we still in the fight for the capital one this season. Thanks a lot for your support is been Amazing like always. Good night."

Manager Brendan Rodgers also praised the Spaniard for his performance last night, telling reporters after the game:

"I was really impressed with Jose Enrique, because I watched Albert Adomah [his opposite number] in the Championship when I was with Swansea City and I know how good a player he is and how fast he is.

"There's not many fitter than Albert. Jose came in and played the whole game against him. I thought he was outstanding."

For Enrique, it was much needed game time. He has made one appearance for the side prior to last night's game this season, as he came on as a late substitute in the 3-0 win over Tottenham at White Hart Lane.

After the arrival of Alberto Moreno for £12 million from Sevilla, Enrique is unlikely to be the number one left-back, but provides plenty of experience to compete with and cover his countryman.

It was always going to be a challenge for the 28-year-old this season after such a long lay-off. He will have been phased back into the side. If he can get around 20 appearances under his belt this season, it would be a pretty good return for him.

He has previously said he is aiming to get back to the form of his first six months at Anfield, where he looked strong and offered a threat going forward by providing service for the strikers but his form did dip prior to his injury.

But having a fully fit Enrique back around the side will be welcome for the Reds going forward. But he might find his first team opportunities a little harder to come by this term.

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