Liverpool forward Roberto Firmino has picked up a hamstring injury, keeping him out of the Reds’ Premier League match at Southampton on Sunday.
The 24-year-old was substituted late on in Thursday’s 1-1 draw with Man United, but the injury appears to have occurred after the game, with news first emerging from Brazil on Saturday.
The Brazilian has been withdrawn from their squad for the upcoming international break and will be assessed at Liverpool over the next few weeks.
It is a big blow for the Reds ahead of Sunday’s tough-looking trip to St Mary’s, with Firmino one of the Premier League‘s in-form players; with seven goals and four assists in his last eight league games.
After a slow start to life in a Reds shirt, the former Hoffenheim has grown in stature by the week, and is now a contender for the club’s Player of the Year award.
Hamstring issues can vary in their severity; some only keep a player out for a fortnight, which would mean only missing the Southampton match; more severe tears can mean six weeks out, like Martin Skrtel, which would be a huge blow for Liverpool.
Hopefully it’s only minor and he’s back available for the Tottenham and Dortmund games at the start of April (2nd and 7th).
This type of injury has proved to be hugely problematic for Jurgen Klopp this season, with Philippe Coutinho, Dejan Lovren, Skrtel, Divock Origi, Daniel Sturridge and Jordan Rossiter all missing action because of it.
Klopp even went so far as to call hamstring the “s*** word of the year” back in December, which is probably a fair assessment.
Firmino’s injury, coupled with James Milner‘s suspension and Jordan Henderson potentially still struggling with a cold, creates a bit of a selection issue for Klopp this afternoon.
The boss may opt to field Origi and Sturridge alongside each other, as he did at St. Mary’s in the League Cup in December.
Joe Allen is also in contention to start in midfield if Henderson isn’t available.
Kick off today is 1.30pm GMT.