Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp admits Jordan Henderson‘s knee injury is “serious”, but says there is still a chance the midfielder could play for England at Euro 2016 this summer.
Henderson’s hopes of being part of Roy Hodgson’s squad for France looked to have a suffered a terminal blow when he sustained a knee ligament injury during Liverpool’s Europa League draw with Borussia Dortmund on Thursday.
The 25-year-old underwent a scan on Friday and, although the injury was not as bad as it might have been and does not require surgery, it was estimated Henderson would be sidelined for up to eight weeks.
That would not only rule Henderson out of the remainder of Liverpool’s season, but would almost certainly put paid to his Euro 2016 chances, with England’s opening match taking place on June 11.
However, Klopp says it is too early to make such judgements and has suggested his captain could even play for Liverpool again this season.
He told a press conference ahead of Sunday’s Premier League visit of Stoke: “It (Henderson’s injury) is serious, but it’s not that serious that there’s no hope for us for maybe the last one or two games, and of course there’s hope for the European Championships.
“For us he’s a very very important player, getting better and better and better, and obviously he’s been playing for England too.
“So that’s not a final judgement or whatever that you can say, ‘No, there’s no chance’. There is a chance.”
He added: “We will do everything for him, for us, that he’s back in the race as soon as possible. That’s it, I can’t say more. We also have to wait for how each day and see how he does.”
Watch Klopp’s pre-match press conference:
Henderson’s injury robs Liverpool of a key player as they look to both make progress in the Europa League and push up the Premier League standings.
However, Klopp has been boosted by the impending return of Brazil international Lucas Leiva after injury.
Lucas has not played since February after suffering a thigh strain but both he and Kevin Stewart could be available to face Stoke after proving their fitness in a friendly on Friday.
Klopp, who is without the suspended Emre Can, said: “Lucas is back and could play yesterday for 45 minutes in a test game against Burnley.
“Kevin Stewart could also play 45 minutes in this game. That’s what they needed, so we’ll have to make a decision.
“These two players are back and that’s very important for us. We have to make a decision about the line-up, about system and a lot of things, but in the end we will have players in this position for sure.”
Liverpool were ninth coming into weekend having picked up one point from their last two outings, but they do have at least one match in hand on all the teams above them.
A victory at Anfield would move them above eight-placed Stoke at the very least, but Klopp acknowledges his side will need the help of their fans as they play a second match in under four days.
“For sure, in a situation like this, you need the crowd 100 per cent,” he said.
“For us it will be a big fight. For this fight, we need each voice at Anfield.
“Hopefully we can create a big atmosphere because it will be really, really necessary.”