Jurgen Klopp was unable to provide an update on Naby Keita‘s back injury after Liverpool’s 1-0 loss to Napoli, with the midfielder undergoing scans in Italy.
The Guinea was Klopp’s sole change for the Champions League clash at the Stadio San Paolo, but was forced off the pitch after just 19 minutes.
That Keita went down off the ball was a major concern, magnified as he was stretchered off the pitch to be replaced by Jordan Henderson, with Liverpool suffering a disappointing defeat.
Speaking after the game, Klopp explained that he would “have to wait” to learn the extent of the injury, confirming in his post-match press conference that it was a back problem.
Liverpool have confirmed that Keita has gone to Fuorigrotta Hospital in Naples for a scan after complaining of “severe” pain. The club, though, say that the hospital visit is precautionary.
Guinean journalist Alpha Balde, of Cent Pourcent Foot, has speculated his compatriot could be sidelined until December.
This is not the first injury Keita has sustained since joining Liverpool from RB Leipzig, having missed a portion of pre-season with a neck problem, and this could prove worrying.
He is yet to hit his stride in a Reds shirt, and Klopp has alternated between him and Henderson in the middle of the park, despite the belief he would immediately command a key role.
Whether persistent injuries are keeping him from truly flourishing remains to be seen, it is clear that it will now take longer for Keita to find his feet at Anfield.
In his absence, it is likely that Klopp will persevere with a midfield of Henderson, James Milner and Georginio Wijnaldum against City.
New signing Fabinho is also an option but is yet to feature in the Premier League as he is eased in.
Keita joins both Adam Lallana and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain on the treatment table.