Everton centre-back Ramiro Funes Mori has apologised for the challenge that has left Divock Origi facing a spell on the sidelines.
The 25-year-old left a strong tackle in on Origi’s ankle in the second half of Liverpool’s 4-0 win over Everton on Wednesday evening, and was shown a straight red card by referee Bobby Madley.
Gesturing to the away support as he left the field, clutching his badge, Funes Mori was roundly criticised for a shocking challenge that compounded Everton‘s misery at Anfield.
Taking to Twitter on Thursday afternoon, the Argentina international apologised to Origi—but insisted that there was no malice in his efforts.
“I very much regret what happened yesterday,” Funes Mori wrote.
“It was never my intention to harm a rival nor my colleagues leaving the field.
“And regarding Divock Origi, I fervently hope it’s nothing serious and know it was never my intention to hurt.
“I ask my apologies for what happened.”
Liverpool await the results of a scan on Origi’s ankle on Thursday afternoon, with the 21-year-old expected to miss at least two weeks of action, meaning he could sit out both of the Reds’ Europa League semi-final clashes with Villarreal.
Speaking after the game, Klopp said Origi’s injury left a “big shadow on the game.”
“Usually if you tell me before the game we will win 4-0, I would feel different,” he told reporters.
“But now we can talk about the game and this situation—we have to wait for a final assessment. It’s absolutely too early.
“When I came in, everybody who saw the pictures thought maybe it’s broken. It’s not.
“I went to Divock in the medical room and I saw him smiling.
“The ankle is twisted so we have to wait to see what happens to the ligaments. That’s how it is. I can’t say more.”
While Klopp remained optimistic about the extent of Origi’s injury, the German will be forced to plan without his in-form striker for the immediate future.
Klopp will find his attacking options swelled by the return of Christian Benteke, however, with the £32.5 million man said to be “close to full fitness” after recovering from a knee injury.
Daniel Sturridge replaced Origi midway through Wednesday night’s victory, and scored Liverpool’s third in an emphatic win, but the former Lille man will be a considerable loss nonetheless.
UPDATE: Scan results are not expected until Friday.