BURY, ENGLAND - Saturday, July 14, 2018: Liverpool's Joel Matip during a preseason friendly match between Bury FC and Liverpool FC at Gigg Lane. (Pic by Paul Greenwood/Propaganda)

Major blow for Liverpool as Joel Matip is ruled out for six weeks

Liverpool have been dealt a major blow with news that centre-back Joel Matip is to join Joe Gomez on the sidelines for the next six weeks.

Matip went straight to hospital after the Reds’ 1-0 win over Napoli on Tuesday night to have scans on a shoulder injury he picked up late in the game.

Initially it was reported to be merely a precaution and speaking post-match Jurgen Klopp said he was unaware of any issue for the defender.

However, it has now been confirmed that he requires an operation for a fractured collarbone and is therefore expected to be sidelined for “up to six weeks” – depending on how his recovery goes.

It’s a major blow given the timing of the season and with Gomez already out for a similar timeframe.

It means Klopp now has only Dejan Lovren and Virgil van Dijk as his centre-back options for the whole of the Christmas fixtures.

Games Matip is set to miss:

It’s a bitter blow for the player as an individual, who has had to be patient for his chance this season but performed well in these three consecutive appearances.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, December 11, 2018: Liverpool's Joel Matip (L) and SSC Napoli's Fabián Ruiz during the UEFA Champions League Group C match between Liverpool FC and SSC Napoli at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Klopp could be facing somewhat of a defensive injury crisis for Sunday’s home game against Man United, with Trent Alexander-Arnold also picking an injury in the latter stages against Napoli and James Milner suffering with cramp.

It’s hoped that Milner is fit enough to start at right-back, while Lovren will have to come into the side alongside Van Dijk in the centre.

Beyond that, Klopp’s options are extremely limited. Nathaniel Clyne hasn’t started a league game since May and only recently returned to training again.

Young centre-back Nathaniel Phillips, who featured in pre-season, has also recently returned to training and could well find himself in the first-team mix this winter.

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