Jurgen Klopp has given Danny Ings encouragement following his season-ending knee injury, saying “when he’s back he’ll be a Liverpool player, 100 percent.”
Ings was sidelined with his second major knee injury in as many years, this time damaging the cartilage in his right knee after a nightmare ACL rupture in his left knee in 2015.
The latter saw him miss the majority of the 2015/16 season, only returning as a substitute for the Reds’ 1-1 draw away to West Bromwich Albion on the final day of the Premier League campaign.
After making just two League Cup appearances for the German this season, Ings has been handed another major setback, facing up to nine months on the sidelines.
Reacting to Ings’ injury in a press conference on Friday morning, Klopp insisted the striker would remain a Liverpool player on his recovery.
“It’s an important story, because everybody who knows Ingsy likes him,” he said.
“I’ve never hear anything bad about him, the only bad thing was he had an injury and he needed time to get back into shape.
“Then this happened and it’s not nice, but that’s football.
“His surgery was very positive, rehab has started already. The team has to show how strong we are in waiting for him.
“We will give him all the time he needs then when he’s back he’ll be a Liverpool player, 100 percent.”
Ings was overwhelmed with messages of support from fans and team-mates alike, with Jordan Henderson, Emre Can, Loris Karius, Adam Lallana, Sheyi Ojo and Joe Gomez among those to take to social media to react.
The No. 28 himself posted on Instagram on Thursday to say: “Blown away by all the messages, means the world.”
Klopp mirrored the backing of his squad, after losing a player he admitted was “very close” to his starting lineup in recent weeks.
“The team reacted how everybody would react when something bad happens to a friend. But we want to show we’re involved in this,” he continued.
“He was very, very close in the last weeks to the team. He helped us.
“Everything will be good in the end, but now it’s time to work on the comeback.”
Ings was praised for his commitment to recovering from his ACL blow this time last year, and now he must harness that once again in order to return to the first-team setup at Liverpool.
The challenge is considerable, both mentally and physically, but Klopp’s words will serve as major motivation.