WHILE many Premier League stars have spent the week flying to Serbia, searching for a mysterious remedy for their strains, pulls and tears, Steven Gerrard knows where the cure to Liverpool's recent ills can be found.
Mariana Kovacevic might be viewed in some circles as a witch doctor, thanks to the radical way she treats injured footballers with liquid from horse placenta, but if the Reds are to get back on track, Gerrard is looking no further than an old-fashioned remedy.
Primed to make his first Premier League start since October 4 against Manchester City, Gerrard is bursting with enthusiasm, eager to help stop a run that has led Rafa Benitez's men to slither down the table and slip to the brink of an early exit from Europe.
Their fall from grace this autumn has been the subject of countless column inches and hours on the airwaves but, through it all, Liverpool's skipper has remained calm and composed, juxtaposed to the hysteria elsewhere.
He, like Benitez, has long been of the opinion that Liverpool's fortunes will pick up with the return of key personnel and, thanks to Kovacevic's healing hands, four of Gerrard's colleagues will be ready to tackle City, too.
Yossi Benayoun, Albert Riera, Fabio Aurelio and Glen Johnson all trained properly yesterday to put themselves in line for City's visit and, with the exception of Fernando Torres, Benitez might be able to select a side at lunchtime that is not far from his best.
It has left Gerrard - scorer of the equalising penalty when the Reds were last in action 11 days ago against Birmingham - in a quietly confident frame of mind, as he has noticed the buzz returning to the dressing room since the international contingent returned.
So though there is no disputing the last two months have been poor, Gerrard is adamant the tide will turn and he is clearly not the only one who holds such a view; with that in mind, then, it is not hard to see Liverpool making a statement in this contest.
'It's been a frustrating couple of weeks,' said Gerrard. 'We've had a lot of players away from Melwood, so it has been difficult to prepare but you have been able to see the atmosphere building over the last couple of days.