Mamadou Sakho could still play again this season, after a scan on a knee injury picked up on loan at Crystal Palace revealed positive results.
Sakho was stretchered off midway through the second half in Palace’s 1-0 loss to Tottenham on Wednesday night, with fears he could have suffered ligament damage.
If he had picked up an ACL injury, for example, this could have seen the Frenchman sidelined for nine months, hampering any chance of a summer move.
But after a scan on his knee on Thursday, Sakho can now hope to return to the field before the end of the campaign.
According to the Telegraph, Sakho’s ligaments were merely “bruised and strained,” meaning he would face a layoff of weeks, not months.
It is claimed that there is an “outside chance” of Sakho returning for Palace’s final game of the season, away to Liverpool’s top-four rivals Man United on the final day of the season on May 21.
And he will continue his recovery with his loan club, with the Reds happy for Sakho to remain in South Norwood rather than returning to Merseyside.
Sakho’s recovery will be good news for Liverpool, as they seek to secure a big-money deal for the 26-year-old this summer.
There is already considerable interest in Sakho ahead of the transfer window, with Napoli, Roma and Southampton joining Palace in pursuit of a permanent deal.
Sakho is said to prefer a move to a Champions League club, however, meaning he could opt to make the switch to Serie A, rather than stay in the Premier League.
It is unlikely he will handed an olive branch by Jurgen Klopp, with their relationship believed to be beyond repair.
This is despite the German seeking a new leading centre-back ahead of 2017/18, with Southampton‘s Virgil van Dijk at the top of his wishlist.
For now, however, there is still the matter of a top-four chase to focus on, and for Sakho and Palace, the battle against relegation.
And if Sakho does return against United on the final day of the season, his performance could well benefit both his parent and his loan club.