Andy Robertson’s return to pre-season training has been delayed further after undergoing a ‘minor procedure’ on his hand.
Robertson was always scheduled to report back to Melwood a week later than the first wave of players after being called up for international duty following his exploits in Madrid, but his return to action has now been delayed further.
The Scot made his way back to Melwood on Saturday alongside Virgil van Dijk, Gini Wijnaldum, Jordan Henderson and Trent Alexander-Arnold, but he was unable to join them in any fitness assessments.
The club have revealed the left-back picked up an infection on his hand which required medical intervention, ensuring he is now on restrictive duties.
Liverpool’s medical team will “continue to monitor his rehabilitation from the surgery,” but he is still expected to travel with the squad as they make their way to the United States next week as their pre-season preparations continue.
Barring any complications, one would expect Robertson to return in a timely fashion, but it comes as yet another disruption to the Reds’ preparations for the 2019/20 season.
Xherdan Shaqiri is expected to be on the sidelines for “a while” after sustaining a tear in his calf during Switzerland’s penalty shootout loss to England in the UEFA Nations League third-place playoff.
An injury ensures his presence at the start of the season is in serious doubt.
While concerns remain over Naby Keita’s fitness after aggravating an adductor injury during Geunea’s Africa Cup of Nations campaign, which forced him to make an early exit and travel to Qatar for specialist treatment.
With a host of senior players set for a staggered return to pre-season due to international commitments, which includes Alisson, Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah, Robertson’s ‘injury’ is not ideal ahead of an action-packed campaign which sees Liverpool compete across several fronts.
It does, however, present a continued opportunity for the Reds’ young left-back brigade to continue to impress in pre-season, as a backup for Robertson has yet to be acquired in the transfer window.
Liverpool’s first outing against Tranmere Rovers saw both Adam Lewis and Yasser Larouci rotate through the position, each playing for the duration of one half – and they both seized the opportunity.
The duo failed to look out of place as they each were assured in and out of possession, where Larouci particularly caught the eye with his pace, direct play and an attacking intent which is key in Klopp’s system.
They are both expected to feature against Bradford City on Sunday, but Robertson’s delayed return could see them both presented with an invaluable chance to feature more prominently during the Reds’ three-stop tour of the United States.