Liverpool Boss Offers Positive Update On The Ox But 5 Players To Miss Arsenal Game
Jurgen Klopp has provided a positive update on Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain but the Liverpool boss will be without five players for Saturday’s visit of Arsenal
Jurgen Klopp has provided a positive update on Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain but the Liverpool boss will be without five players for Saturday’s visit of Arsenal to Anfield.
Oxlade-Chamberlain has been on the sidelines since suffering a cruciate knee ligament injury during the first leg of Liverpool’s Champions League semi-final win against Roma back in April of last season.
The midfielder has been recovering well during his long rehabilitation programme and Klopp has confirmed the 25-year-old is ahead of schedule after beginning to run outside on the Melwood training pitches again this week.
Oxlade-Chamberlain is still a long way from returning to full fitness but the Liverpool boss is hopeful he’ll be back in full training at the end of February which would put him in contention to play again this season.
When asked for an update on Oxlade-Chamberlain at his pre-match press conference today ahead of Saturday’s clash with Arsenal, Klopp told Liverpoolfc.com:
“[It’s the] best news, best news. He started going on the pitch and from the first step he did it looked completely normal, not like sometimes when a player is coming back from an injury and he starts running and then you see them still, not really limping, but it’s not the picture you have in your mind.
“With Ox, from the first step it looked like Ox and that was really nice. Then we had to wait for the reaction – and there was no reaction, which is even nicer. No pressure put on him, but it looks like he could maybe be back in normal training in late February – maybe, I am not sure, [maybe] March. So that gives us hope he will be back in the season.
“It is a surprise, he is ahead of schedule, which is always good news and now we will try to do all right, that we don’t push it too much, but we don’t want to hold him back. We will see, we don’t have to talk too much about his progress in the next couple of weeks and maybe next two months.
“If he makes further steps like he did in the last few weeks then he can play Premier League football this season, which is nice to know.”
Klopp also provided a full team news update and the Liverpool coach confirmed that James Milner will miss the visit of Arsenal to Anfield tomorrow. The versatile midfielder sat out the Boxing Day win over Newcastle with a hamstring injury and while he’s making a swift recovery, the Arsenal game will come too soon for Milner.
Dominic Solanke has also been ruled out of the game this weekend due to a muscle problem while Joe Gomez and Joel Matip are continuing their recoveries from leg and collarbone injuries so Klopp will be without five players against Arsenal.
However, there was some positive news as the Liverpool boss confirmed that Alberto Moreno should be available for selection after recovering from a back injury that kept him out of the win over Newcastle.
Klopp told Liverpoolfc.com:
“Millie is Millie and that means he is again ahead of schedule. He had, yes, a little bit with the [hamstring] muscle. He will not be available for tomorrow, that’s not possible, but hopefully the game after that he will be available again.
“Alberto trained the first time really pain-free yesterday so he will probably be in contention. Dom Solanke has muscle problems and will not be involved. Joe [Gomez] obviously not, and Joel [Matip] not. Both are doing well and making big steps but it will take some time.”
Liverpool head in to the weekend action sitting six points clear of Tottenham at the top of the Premier League table so they’ll be looking to cement that position with another win over Arsenal tomorrow evening.
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