Injuries have ravaged the Liverpool side since the start of the Premier League season, and here is when their pivotal players are due to come back
Despite lifting their first-ever Premier League trophy last season, Liverpool have experienced an uneven campaign defending their title – their star forwards going through a scoreless rough patch and the myriad of injuries sustained not helping the situation.
The Reds have been missing key players such as Virgil van Dijk and Diogo Jota – so when are they expected to return? Goal takes a look.
Virgil van Dijk is expected to be ruled out for the season, after picking up a serious ACL injury in the Merseyside derby against Everton.
The Netherlands centre-back underwent successful surgery in London, with Klopp eventually admitting that it would take a “miracle” for him to feature again this season.
“I don’t want to say that’s absolutely impossible but it’s not likely. It’s not likely. We don’t have to discuss these things really,” said Klopp. “But if they are on the list then it’s only because we hope for nearly a miracle. That’s it.”
Meanwhile, Joe Gomez is set to miss the rest of the season, with Klopp conceding that he would be surprised if the defender were to play again this campaign.
Klopp said: “Will he be available this season? When does the season end, May? It will be close at least I would say. I don’t expect … well, I would be positive surprised if he would be back this season, to be honest.”
Liverpool were handed another devastating blow with Joel Matip also ruled out for the remainder of the campaign with an ankle issue – leading Liverpool to sign two centre-backs in Ben Davies and Ozan Kabak on January deadline day.
There is better news for Diogo Jota, who is due to return in February after picking up a knee injury in the 1-1 Champions League group stage fixture against Midtjylland in December.
He was given a time frame of roughly two months for his injury, which would mean that he should be back in the squad soon – with Klopp issuing a positive update before the Leicester game.
It is a timely return as well, given how Liverpool have been struggling to score as of late: “How much I miss him is not important. I am not allowed to miss him. He is not there and we deal with it,” said Klopp.
Fabinho was forced to miss out on the Tottenham game in January due to a minor muscle issue, with Klopp refusing to go in-depth on his expected return date – and also missed out on the Merseyside derby.
James Milner is the latest player to join the treatment table, having limped off of Liverpool’s Premier League clash against Leicester on February 13 with what appeared to be a hamstring issue.
Klopp said of Milner following the 3-0 loss: “He felt only a little bit but he didn’t want to take the risk, we didn’t want to take the risk, so we took him off. We’ll see how it develops, but yeah, hamstring.”
Jordan Henderson is the latest addition to the Liverpool injury bench when he limped off the pitch during the Merseyside derby without contact from another player.
He got treatment and initially tried to play on, but was then was forced to come off the pitch and was replaced by Nat Phillips.
Said Klopp on the injury: “It’s the groin/adductor region, and nobody in the medical department was positive about it. It doesn’t look good and we have to wait for the scan tomorrow.”
Naby Keita suffered an extended spell on the sidelines with a hamstring problem, but returned to the Liverpool bench for the 2-0 loss against Everton. It was the first time he was involved in the team since the match against Crystal Palace on December 19.
|Player||Injury||Expected return date|
|Virgil van Dijk||Knee||Summer|