Xherdan Shaqiri is the latest Liverpool player to suffer a setback on their return to pre-season, with the winger facing “a while” out after scans on a calf injury.
The 27-year-old suffered the injury in Switzerland’s penalty shootout loss to England in the UEFA Nations League third-place playoff in June.
In an effectively meaningless game, Shaqiri was forced off after 65 minutes to be replaced by Steven Zuber, before heading to Mykonos for his post-season break.
Liverpool confirmed ahead of his return to Melwood on Monday that he would require the problem to be assessed by the club’s medical staff.
And speaking after his scans, Jurgen Klopp revealed that Shaqiri had suffered a tear in his calf and is set for “a while” on the sidelines.
“Shaq is still injured from the national team and it will take a while until he is in again,” the manager told the club’s official website.
“He has a tear in his calf, so he will not be involved for a while.”
The indication is that this is a relatively serious injury, and he joins Caoimhin Kelleher and Naby Keita on the sidelines as the Reds begin preparations for 2019/20.
Whether Shaqiri returns during pre-season or after the campaign has begun is as yet unclear, but he will still be required to find full fitness before he is able to play.
This comes with Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino all due to report back late following their involvement in the Africa Cup of Nations and Copa America.
Salah and Firmino are likely to return for the training camp in France at the end of July, though their and Alisson‘s first outing could be in the Community Shield on August 4.
Meanwhile, Mane is still at AFCON with Senegal, and they take on Benin in the quarter-finals on Wednesday evening; if they progress the final is on July 19, with a third-placed playoff two days before.
Without Salah, Mane and Firmino, Shaqiri could have expected to play most of, if not all, of Liverpool’s pre-season friendlies.
Now, Klopp is considerably short up front, and this could provide a clear opening for young quartet Harry Wilson, Curtis Jones, Ryan Kent and Rhian Brewster.
They are likely to provide Divock Origi, who returned along with Shaqiri on Monday, support in the final third, while Harvey Elliott could also be thrown in if he completes his switch from Fulham in time.