Liverpool team news: Klopp confirms major double injury blow + update on Fabinho
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has admitted it’s unlikely Virgil van Dijk or Joel Matip will play again this season but Fabinho is close to returning to action.
Van Dijk has been on the sidelines since suffering knee ligament damage during Liverpool’s draw with Everton in mid-October when he was on the end of a shocking challenge from Toffees goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.
The Dutch international was initially ruled out for the rest of the season following his surgery but he has made good progress in his rehabilitation in recent weeks sparking rumours he could be set for a swift return to action after being seen taking part in intense work out sessions in the gym.
However, Klopp has played down those hopes after confirming that it’s unlikely van Dijk will play again this season – although the Liverpool boss will still include the centre-back in his Champions League and Premier League squad lists in hope of a ‘miracle’.
Speaking at his press conference today, Klopp told Liverpoolfc.com.
“Whatever happens, I think we have space for Virgil on the Champions League list. I think he was on the Premier League list. Nobody told me I have to change something with that. If we have space in the Champions League list then Virgil will be on the list,”
“In the moment, I don’t know where these things are coming from – nobody really, no doctor, nobody really told me there’s a chance for Virgil to play in this season again.
“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.
“If we have space we would put them all on, even when all the medical people tell us there’s no chance. We put them on because we believe in miracles from time to time.
Van Dijk’s long-term absence is compounded by the recent injury to Joel Matip. The Cameroon international picked up an ankle injury during the first half of Liverpool’s win over Tottenham last week and after initially trying to continue, he was eventually forced off at half-time.
The club have confirmed on Liverpoolfc.com that Matip has suffered ligament damage and will miss the rest of the season.
“Unfortunately, we found out now after everybody looked at it that Joel will be out for the rest of the season.
“But he will be ready for the start of the next pre-season and finally everything will be sorted.”
With Matip joining van Dijk and Joe Gomez on the sidelines, Liverpool were forced into the transfer market on deadline day and they snapped up two centre-backs with Ben Davies and Ozan Kabak both arriving.
The Matip injury will come as a big blow to Liverpool but there is more positive news on Fabinho as Klopp revealed today that the Brazilian is ‘not too far away’ from returning to action following a muscle injury.
There was no update on Diogo Jota today but the Portuguese attacker remains on the sidelines with a knee injury while Naby Keita is also struggling with a muscle problem. Sadio Mane missed the win at West Ham with a minor knock but it remains to be seen whether he’ll be passed fit to return for the visit of Brighton tomorrow.
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