Liverpool issue update on injured duo ahead of Champions League final vs Tottenham
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has issued an injury update on Naby Keita and Roberto Firmino ahead of next wee’s Champions League final against Tottenham.
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has issued an injury update on Naby Keita and Roberto Firmino ahead of next week’s Champions League final against Tottenham Hotspur.
Keita hasn’t featured for Liverpool since suffering a serious adductor injury during the semi-final first leg defeat against Barcelona at the Nou Camp at the start of this month and the midfielder was initially ruled out for around eight weeks.
That timescale would rule him out of the Champions League final and make him a major doubt for the upcoming African Cup of Nations but Keita has been making excellent progress during his recovery.
The 24-year-old travelled with the rest of the Liverpool squad for their training camp in Marbella this week where he’s been undergoing a specialised training regime with the club’s medial team.
Klopp has now provided the latest on Keita’s fitness and while the Liverpool boss acknowledged his excellent progress in his recovery, the Champions League final against Tottenham will still come too soon.
Recent reports suggested that Keita was expected to be fit in time to represent Guinea at the African Cup of Nations – which starts on June 21 – but Klopp insists the Reds star will only be available for his country if he’s 100% fit.
There is more positive news on Firmino as Klopp says the Liverpool hitman is expected to return to full training on Friday as he steps-up his recovery from a muscle injury that hampered him during the closing weeks of the season.
Firmino missed Liverpool’s last three fixtures due to the issue and has been slowly increasing his work-load in training this week but Klopp appears to be confident the South American will be available to face Tottenham next weekend.
Klopp told Liverpoolfc.com:
“Naby is, I would say, a bit ahead of schedule, but that doesn’t mean anything for the final. He is now doing straight runs and all of that stuff, he feels comfortable with 50 per cent intensity and these things – but there is still a way to go.
“I know about the issues with Guinea and stuff like that; we don’t want to keep a player out if he can play – maybe they think it is like this, but it is not like this. For me, it would be good if Naby would be 100 per cent fit and could play the Africa Cup of Nations, to be 100 per cent honest. But we don’t know, we will see, and we need to work together with their medical department because in the end, a player who is fit – from my point of view – who can play, should play for his country.
“If he is not 100 per cent fit, he cannot play. That’s how it is. It is not important whether you play for your country or your club. That’s what we try to make sure. It looks good, very positive and we will see if there is a chance.”
“Bobby looks really good [and] he is now part of training. It was not too long out, but of course we are still careful and want to make sure nothing happens.
“We have a few days still and want to use them, that’s why he is in, out, in, out. Yesterday, he was only playing as a ‘joker’ [in the small-sided games] but it is good for him, the first step to play football again.
“Today he was in around about 70 per cent of the session. Tomorrow he will probably be in completely, we will see, then hopefully it will be fine.”
It would be a major boost for Liverpool if Firmino was available to take on Spurs in the Champions League final as he’s been a key player for the Merseysiders this season after forming a devastating attack alongside Mo Salah and Sadio Mane.
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