Liverpool midfielder Marko Grujic is left hoping an ankle injury suffered on loan with Hertha Berlin won’t rule him out for the long term, after a strong start.
Grujic joined Hertha on a season-long loan in August, and had been in excellent form as Pal Dardai’s side made an early surge to the top of the Bundesliga.
In four appearances for the German side, the 22-year-old was unbeaten, with three wins and a draw lifting the Blau-Weiss’ hopes of a title challenge.
But late on in his third start on Saturday afternoon, a 4-2 victory over Borussia Monchengladbach, Grujic had to be helped off the field following what the club’s Twitter account described as a “horrible tackle” from Patrick Herrmann.
Hertha have since confirmed that the Serbian has ruptured an ankle ligament, which depending on the severity could keep him out for around six weeks.
“Marko has managed to make a significant difference to our game in the short time he has been with us,” general manager Michael Preetz told the club’s official website.
“Which is why the loss for him personally and for us is very, very bitter.
“Now we will look after him and help him, so that he can play that role as soon as possible.”
Grujic himself took to Instagram to express his disappointment, but added: “[I] hope that [the] injury isn’t too bad and soon I’ll be back on the pitch. Your support make things easier.”
It remains to be seen whether Grujic will return to Melwood for treatment, or stay with Hertha ahead of his return to action later this year.
He is the third player to have his loan spell disrupted by injury this season, with Harry Wilson returning after missing the last six games to score in Derby’s 3-1 win over Brentford on Saturday.
Connor Randall is not so fortunate, have suffered a fractured cheekbone in only his second outing for Rochdale, forcing him back to Merseyside to undergo an operation.
The right-back is expected to be out for 12 weeks, which would keep him sidelined for the majority of his initial deal with the League One side.
Meanwhile, it remains to be seen how long Liverpool U23s winger Bobby Adekanye is facing out, having suffered a serious knee injury in their 4-0 defeat at Arsenal on Friday night.