Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva will be sidelined until mid-August after suffering a hamstring injury on Wednesday evening.
The Brazilian was forced off the field during the Reds’ 2-0 win away to Huddersfield Town, replaced by academy goalkeeper Shamal George.
Having featured heavily throughout pre-season so far, Lucas underwent a scan that revealed frustrating results.
Despite travelling with Jurgen Klopp‘s squad for their tour of the US, Lucas will join Mamadou Sakho and Joe Gomez on the treatment table throughout.
According to the Liverpool Echo, Lucas is set to be miss around a month of action, meaning he will sit out of the Reds’ Premier League opener away to Arsenal (August 13).
Lucas will also be unavailable against Chelsea, AC Milan, AS Roma, Barcelona and Mainz during pre-season.
He could even miss two further league clashes in August, away to Burnley (August 20) and Tottenham Hotspur (August 27) respectively.
Heavily linked with a move away from Merseyside this summer, with Turkish giants Galatasaray said to be weighing up a permanent move for his services, injury could put paid to Lucas’ plans.
The 29-year-old has endured a series of injury problems during his time with Liverpool, with an ACL rupture suffered in 2011 affecting his mobility on the field.
Though a tough-tackling midfield presence, this has seen Lucas jar with Klopp’s tactical ideals, with Germany international Emre Can preferred as the manager’s first-choice holding player.
Lucas’ injury could see increased opportunity for new signing Marko Grujic, as well as 22-year-old academy graduate Kevin Stewart.
Grujic has scored a goal in each of his pre-season appearances so far this summer, having joined Klopp’s squad after six months on loan with Red Star Belgrade.
Klopp has also added to his midfield ranks with the signing of Georginio Wijnaldum from Newcastle United, with the £25 million star able to operate in a number of roles in the middle of the park.
He will be able to welcome Can back to his group later this month, though fellow midfielder Joe Allen is unlikely to travel to the US after Liverpool agreed a £13 million deal with Stoke City.
Allen is set to discuss personal terms with the Potters, though former club Swansea City are believed to be considering a move to match Stoke’s bid.