Roberto Firmino is considered a doubt for Liverpool’s trip to Barcelona on Wednesday, but his prospects of featuring at the Nou Camp have been boosted.
The striker missed Friday’s 5-0 win over Huddersfield with Jurgen Klopp revealing he had suffered a “small tear in a very small muscle” but also that “it’s Bobby, so he might be ready for Wednesday.”
Given Firmino’s durability, the manager’s optimism is convincing, and the gap between games from Friday to Wednesday at least provides a longer period of recovery.
And according to the Mirror‘s David Maddock, the Brazilian could in fact be “given the all clear” to return to training on Tuesday, considering this “certain.”
This is described as a “fitness test,” and if all goes well “he will be put straight back into the side,” which certainly suggests the problem isn’t as bad as initially feared.
The squad were given the day off on Sunday with Firmino instructed to “allow the issue to settle, offering a chance for swelling to subside.”
A late call will be made as to whether he makes the flight to Barcelona, but as such an important part of Klopp’s system, both in defence and attack, he will no doubt be given every chance.
Maddock also provides positive updates on both Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who suffered “no issues” as a result of his comeback appearance at Anfield, and Fabinho, who is “cleared to play” after a head injury.
Fabinho will likely start in Catalonia, but Oxlade-Chamberlain should only be seen as a squad option at this stage, having only played 17 minutes for the first team after 367 days out.
Klopp will undoubtedly field a strong side against Barcelona, but Joel Matip should return in defence and further changes could be seen in midfield.