MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 9, 2017: Liverpool's Joel Matip looks dejected as his side lose 5-0 during the FA Premier League match between Manchester City and Liverpool at the City of Manchester Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Joel Matip set to make Liverpool return after 5-game thigh injury layoff

Jurgen Klopp has confirmed that Liverpool centre-back Joel Matip has returned to full training, and is likely to feature before the new year.

Matip has missed the last five games with a thigh injury, with Klopp turning to the duo of Dejan Lovren and Ragnar Klavan in his absence.

While the German has rotated heavily throughout the rest of his lineup, both Lovren and Klavan have been near ever-presents, underlining Klopp’s sparse ranks at the back.

But ahead of Liverpool’s trip to take on Arsenal, Klopp revealed that Matip is now back in training, though it remains up in the air whether he could feature on Friday night.

“How it always is now, we have these little reactions form the last game,” he told reporters.

“We need to wait a little bit, we have different players [struggling].

“In this moment it looks like, apart from Daniel Sturridge who was a little bit ill—even he could be back, I’m not sure—[every short-term absentee is back].

Joel Matip is a positive. I’m not sure if he’s ready for Arsenal but for the games coming up I’m pretty sure. That’s it, I think.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, May 21, 2017: Liverpool's Adam Lallana in action against Middlesbrough during the FA Premier League match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

As Klopp attests, Matip’s return is a major positive for the Reds, with the Cameroonian arguably the most accomplished centre-back in the squad.

This leaves only Nathaniel Clyne (back) and Alberto Moreno (ankle) on the sidelines, with Klopp now also able to call upon Adam Lallana after a long-term thigh problem.

Lallana played 19 minutes in Sunday’s 4-0 win away to Bournemouth, and will now be looking for further game time in order to recapture his match fitness.

“It was aggressive, was it 10 seconds until he had a yellow card?” Klopp said of his performance at Dean Court.

“He’s back, that’s good but he needs to collect minutes now. We will see how we manage that.

“He’s not ready for three games, 90 minutes in a row but he’s ready to help us in specific moments. We can build up his match fitness.

“Even in a few minutes when he was on the pitch everybody could see what a player he is. It is very good news for all of us that he’s back.”

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