Fabinho of Liverpool (Image: Darren Staples/Sportimage via PA Images)

“Sensationally good” – Jurgen Klopp says Fabinho getting closer to starting again

Jurgen Klopp was coy on providing a definitive return to the starting XI for Fabinho as he continues in his bid to “find his rhythm” after a lengthy spell on the sidelines.

Liverpool’s No. 3 was on the sidelines for over seven weeks after sustaining ankle ligament damage against Napoli in late November.

His absence came at the most congested period of the season and was one of many Klopp and Co. had to contend with across key areas of the field.

Fabinho missed 13 games before making a late cameo in the win over Man United on Sunday and the boss said he is “getting closer and closer” to making his first starting appearance since the point of injury.

The trip to Wolves could come too soon for the Brazilian to return from the off, meaning the subsequent visit to Shrewsbury for the FA Cup fourth round could act as an ideal place to “find his rhythm.”

The boss, however, was cautious to provide a concrete timeline for when Fabinho will be named in the starting lineup.

“Sensationally good that we have him [Fabinho] back. How close is he to starting? I don’t know,” Klopp told reporters.

Liverpool's Fabinho (right) celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game during the Premier League match at Anfield, Liverpool. (PA Images)

“It was a long time out, not too long thank god, but long enough and so he needs to find his rhythm step by step and we will see.

“Best news we can get that we these boys back, that we have Joel back, Dejan on his way back and we played the toughest period of the season with two centre-halves and our ‘fifth’ was injured as well.

“Now we have to make sure our boys are in the best possible shape before we use them again.

“We do that with training sessions, Fab is in for more than a week – in a different squad situation maybe he would have trained last week before the United game, better than being involved in it.

“But he had a few minutes and that was good for him. Getting closer and closer.”

The return of Fabinho is a welcome one as prior to his injury he was one of the first names on the teamsheet, and that the Reds failed to drop points in his absence is a testament to quality and depth this squad possesses.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, January 5, 2020: Liverpool's captain James Milner goes off injured during the FA Cup 3rd Round match between Liverpool FC and Everton FC, the 235th Merseyside Derby, at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

In recent days and weeks, Klopp has been buoyed by the return of Fabinho, Joel Matip and most recently Dejan Lovren – with the latter only having returned to training this week after six weeks on the sidelines.

It leaves James Milner, Naby Keita and Xherdan Shaqiri as the remaining senior figures in the treatment room.

And Klopp provided a brief update on the trio ahead of the trip to Wolves, with all “not in team training” but they are each expected to be “back soon.”