Atlético Madrid striker Diego Costa is hopeful of returning from injury in time for the second leg of their Champions League knockout stage match against Liverpool.

The 31-year-old has been ruled out for over two months after undergoing surgery on a slipped disc, something which will all-but guarantee Costa missed Atléti's home match against the reigning European champions.

But Marca claims former Chelsea man Costa is already aiming to return for Atlético Madrid's trip to Anfield at the start of March.

Diego Costa,Alvaro Morata,Koke

The Spain international hasn't been in great form for Atléti this season and only has two goals to his name across all competitions, while Álvaro Morata (eight) and João Félix (four) have also been struggling to take their chances.

Even with Atlético's problems in attack so far this season, Costa would be a welcomed return for their trip to Liverpool - especially if Los Colchoneros can keep a clean sheet in the first leg at Wanda Metropolitano.

As a Chelsea player, Costa actually scored during his first-ever match at Anfield back in the 2014/15 season and although he only ever scored one more against Liverpool, he won, drew and lost an equal amount of games against the Reds.

With the Spain international set to be out of action until March at least, Costa will miss crucial matches against Barcelona in the Supercopa de España, as well as their derby at the Santiago Bernabéu against Real Madrid.

Even before Costa's injury, Atlético Madrid were believed to be looking towards the January transfer window to help lift some of the pressure off their attacking players during the second half of the season.

Diego Costa,Diego Simeone

The club have ​shown interest in Paris Saint-Germain striker Edinson Cavani, although a deal looks more likely to take place at the end of the season, while RB Leipzig's Timo Werner is also on manager Diego Simeone's ​radar.

For more from Ben Carter, follow him on Twitter!