Promising Liverpool winger Sheyi Ojo has provided a positive update on his recovery from a back injury suffered during pre-season.
The 19-year-old was sidelined during the Reds’ summer tour of the United States, after making an impact on joining up with the squad following the European U19 Championship in Germany.
Ojo had shown his commitment to the cause by declining Jurgen Klopp‘s offer of a three-week holiday following his spell with England.
But this ultimately came back to bite him, as after playing a key role in Liverpool’s 2-0 victory over AC Milan in Santa Clara, and scoring in the 2-1 defeat to AS Roma in St. Louis, he was left to occupy the treatment room.
After a setback in his recovery in September, Ojo has now begun light training outdoor at Melwood, as he revealed on Instagram on Monday.
“Back running,” he told his 233,000 followers, “the return is near.”
This will be a boost to Klopp and Liverpool, bolstering the German’s attacking options ahead of a crucial period.
It is unlikely Ojo will be rushed back into action, however, with Sadio Mane thriving in the right-sided role in the Reds’ front three, and a number of options in reserve.
But Ojo, one of the only orthodox wingers in Klopp’s squad, can prove useful as the season progresses.
The former Wolverhampton Wanderers loanee is able to operate on either the left or the right flank, and made a positive contribution on his breakthrough into the first team in 2015/16.
He scored one goal and laid on another four in 11 appearances, averaging a goal contribution every 90 minutes, with his assist for Sturridge’s header in April’s 4-1 victory at home to Stoke City particularly impressive.
His pace, skill and delivery from out wide could make him an ideal replacement for Mane, when the 24-year-old embarks for duty with Senegal at the Africa Cup of Nations in January.
This remains a distant future, however, as Klopp will focus on a patient recovery for his young star.