Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish has urged England coach Fabio Capello to be "intelligent" when it comes to considering Steven Gerrard for international duty.
The 31-year-old made a welcome return to action in Wednesday's 2-1 Carling Cup victory over Brighton, having been sidelined for more than six months after an operation on a groin problem in March ended his season prematurely.
England have a Euro 2012 qualifier in Montenegro on October 7 but Dalglish wants Gerrard to get his match sharpness up at a comfortable speed and not for him to be over-worked too early, saying: "I don't pick England's team. Whatever they have to do, they have to do. I just hope they are as intelligent as what we have been."
Dalglish has always stressed Gerrard's recovery and rehabilitation would not be rushed - despite the player's obvious desire to make a comeback. And that approach will not change just because Gerrard has now had his first taste of action since March 6.
"We won't be any more careful, professional or intelligent than we have been," he added. "He's done fantastic coming back and it's fantastic for the whole club that he is back but the most important person in all of it is Steven himself.
"He's missed an awful lot of football through injury so he's done brilliant to get where he is.
"We will just continue in the intelligent manner that we have done.
"We can look forward to him getting even fitter. There will be no timescale or programme, we'll just take it as it comes.
"He's the captain and the talisman of the football club and he's just played around 20 minutes for us.
"He's on his way back and we're absolutely delighted for him."