Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has confirmed the extent of Danny Ings‘ latest knee injury, backing the striker to return to his best.
Ings is set to undergo surgery on his right knee this week, after damaging cartilage in a tackle during the Reds’ 2-1 victory over Tottenham Hotspur in the League Cup.
This will likely rule Ings out for the rest of the season, mirroring a setback for the former Burnley star this time last year, when he ruptured his ACL in his left knee in training at Melwood.
Sidelined for effectively two seasons, Ings has so far made just 11 appearances for Liverpool, totalling 616 minutes, with only 75 of these coming under Klopp.
But speaking on the news of Ings’ injury, Klopp revealed his admiration for the 24-year-old, hoping he would recover and recapture his form in a Liverpool shirt.
“To say we are gutted would be an understatement,” the manager said.
“He is such a great boy and has worked so hard that he deserves better luck than this.
“It is typical of Danny’s personality, on and off the pitch, that he picked up this injury to his knee when courageously trying to win the ball back for his team by making a tackle.
“But it is this same personality that means he will come back as good and as strong from this latest setback as he has done in the past.”
Ings made a remarkable recovery from his previous layoff to make a substitutes’ appearance on the final day of the Premier League campaign in 2015/16.
This was largely due to the nature of his injury, but also his mental fortitude and commitment to making a swift return.
While his next appearance is in the distant future, Klopp is giving his No. 28 every opportunity to recover.
“I’m told the likely lay off is anywhere from between seven to nine months,” he explained.
“He is mentally strong, physically strong and will have the very best treatment and rehab possible to make sure when he returns he is ready to play for us at the level we know he is capable of.”
Ings’ injury is a bitter blow to the Liverpool camp, who had just posted a clean bill of health following the return of Joe Gomez and Sheyi Ojo to the training field.
But as Klopp insists, Ings will be given the chance to come back and stake his claim in 2017.