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Jurgen Klopp expects swift return for Jordan Henderson after shin injury

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Jurgen Klopp does not expect a layoff for Jordan Henderson despite being substituted with a shin injury during Liverpool’s 4-0 win at Leicester.

It is good news following a spate of long-term layoffs for the Reds, with Henderson himself currently filling in for Fabinho in the No. 6 role.

The Brazilian is sidelined along with Joel Matip, Dejan Lovren and most recently Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, depriving Klopp of two of his centre-backs and two central midfielders.

Initial fears on Henderson remaining on the turf after a collision with Leicester‘s Ayoze Perez were of another serious injury, but the captain was able to walk off in a positive sign for fans.

And speaking in his post-match press conference, Klopp confirmed the 29-year-old was in good condition having simply taking a nasty kick to his shin.

“It was bleeding, but he told me afterwards ‘I could have played on’,” the manager said.

“So obviously it is not so bad this time.”

LEICESTER, ENGLAND - Thursday, December 26, 2019: Liverpool's James Milner (C) scores the second goal, from a penalty kick, with team-mate Georginio Wijnaldum (L) and captain Jordan Henderson (R) during the FA Premier League match between Leicester City FC and Liverpool FC at the King Power Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Given Henderson’s excellent form this campaign, this is a major boost, with the Englishman thriving both alongside Fabinho and in a deeper duty in his absence.

His nine-out-of-10 showing at the King Power followed up a man-of-the-match display in the Club World Cup final, with a 3,000-mile trip back from Qatar and Christmas back on Merseyside sandwiched in between.

It is possible he would have been rested for Sunday’s clash with Wolves at Anfield regardless, with Gini Wijnaldum able to shift into his role as one of James Milner or Adam Lallana comes in.

Both Milner and Lallana came off the substitutes’ bench on Thursday night—the former scoring from the penalty spot with his first touch and the latter replacing Henderson—and should benefit further from Klopp’s rotation.

Allowing Henderson to rest this weekend should then see him fully fit for the visit of Sheffield United on January 2, as Liverpool navigate their busy festive schedule.

The arrival of Takumi Minamino, and a comeback for Fabinho, will relieve the burden on Henderson, Wijnaldum, Milner, Lallana and Naby Keita in the new year, while Klopp also has the option of switching systems.

Another plus-point when considering Henderson’s injury scare is the upturn in fortunes for Keita of late, with the Guinean now considerably more confident on and off the ball, and capable of influencing games more regularly.

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