Gerrard has been sidelined since March with his groin injury
Kenny Dalglish is confident that Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard and keeper Pepe Reina will be fit for the start of the Premier League season.
Gerrard and Reina are missing the club's China tour as they recover from respective groin and hernia operations.
But Liverpool manager Dalglish said: "Steven has made a fantastic recovery.
"He needs to get a couple of niggles out the way and he will be fit for the start of the season against Sunderland. The same situation applies to Pepe."
Gerrard, 31, missed the end of last season after
undergoing surgery for a second time in April
and Dalglish said it was an easy decision to leave the England midfielder at home.
GERRARD'S LIVERPOOL HONOURS
- Champions League - 2005
- Uefa Cup - 2001
- FA Cup - 2001, 2006
- League Cup - 2001, 2003
- Uefa Super Cup - 2001, 2005
"Steven is injured at the moment and that's why he's not here with us," said the Scot after landing in Guangzhou, where the team will play their first friendly in China on Wednesday.
"I know people are disappointed he isn't here with us but the disappointment would be far greater if he couldn't play the first [Premier League] game.
"That is why he has stayed at home, to rest and to have the best chance of being fit for the start of the season."
Reina had a double hernia operation in June and Dalglish added: "He isn't fit and so had to stay at home. He should be ready for the start of the season."
Meanwhile, Dalglish is keen to shuffle his Liverpool squad further before the transfer window shuts at the end of August.
"Hopefully we will do some more business before the window closes but I'm not going to give names because that's disrespectful," he added.
New signing Charlie Adam shares a joke with boss Kenny Dalglish in China
"We are looking to bring other players in and that could mean we expect some to leave."
Of Liverpool's new signings,
is on the trip to China, but Jordan Henderson is on extended leave after playing for England Under-21s at the European Championships in Denmark last month.
And Adam has thanked Dalglish for keeping faith in him after Blackpool rejected Liverpool's initial advances in January.
"I'm delighted to eventually be here," said the 25-year-old.
"Obviously it was tough in January with the decisions that were made and I respected Blackpool in that and I have now been able to come here and join a wonderful club, a massive club that is well known all over the world.
"I want to learn and there are some of the best players in the world at this club so if I can learn from them I am going to improve as a player."