Roy Hodgson today spoke of his relief after Fernando Torres flew back to Merseyside having enjoyed a night off for Spain in Argentina.
Despite accepting Spain's decision to include the Liverpool striker in their travelling squad for the glamour friendly in Buenos Aires, Hodgson was hoping Torres would do no more than warm the bench after netting twice for his country on Friday in Liechtenstein.
The Liverpool manager's hopes were realized as Torres remained an unused substitute throughout his country's 4-1 defeat, and he's now looking forward to including his number nine in his plans for this weekend's trip to Birmingham.
"We spoke to the Spanish coach and they said it wasn't possible for him to skip the trip," said Hodgson. "If he'd done that then a lot of other big name players might have wanted to skip it as well.
"Through fairness they felt obliged to take everybody, but luckily they listened to my plea not to overplay him and the fact he played no part in the game hopefully means he will come back in good shape and be able to work with us instead."
Despite not having regained full match fitness since overcoming the injury he sustained in the World Cup final, Torres has already netted the winner in the Reds' last outing against West Brom and bagged a brace for Spain on Friday night.
"It's a good sign," admitted Hodgson. "He's a goalscorer and a quality player. If we're going to have a good season we need people like him. He'll need more time before he fully recovers from the injury, but he is working very hard, he has a very good relationship with our sports science people and I trust them together to make the right decisions."