The Reds centre-back was a surprise omission from Jurgen Klopp‘s starting lineup for the first game at the new-look Anfield.
This came as a blow to Liverpool’s prospects, but as Lovren revealed on Instagram shortly after the lineup announcement, the Croatian has good reason.
“Bad luck yesterday in training,” he told his 562,000 followers, sharing an image of a badly swollen black eye.
“Hopefully the swelling will go away quickly…let’s go now to support the team…come on Reds.”
The timing of Lovren’s injury is poor, given Klavan and Lucas are both on the recovery themselves, and both Sakho and Joe Gomez are unavailable.
Lucas is little more than an emergency centre-back, and given Liverpool’s problems in the role in 2015/16, this is a disappointing juncture.
It is far from avoidable, however, representing little more than bad luck rather than bad planning.
Further down the defensive pecking order, Tiago Ilori made his first appearance of the season in the Liverpool U23s’ friendly defeat to Brentford B in midweek, but the Portuguese is unlikely to feature for the first team this season.
The hope will be that Lovren recovers in time for Friday’s clash away to Chelsea, with the trip to Stamford Bridge providing another major test of the Reds’ credentials.
In the meantime, Lucas and Matip will look to build a positive partnership at the back against Leicester.