The role Ox played in “tough” injury layoff as Paul Glatzel sets return date

Paul Glatzel has credited Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain for his support during a long injury layoff, and set his return date for before the campaign’s end.

Glatzel was cruelly sidelined with an ACL injury after being promoted to the first-team squad in the summer, forced off in his first outing in pre-season.

That afternoon in Tranmere should have been a momentous occasion for the 19-year-old, after scoring 29 goals and laying on 10 assists in 34 games for the academy in 2018/19, but instead it was a bitter blow.

The youngster has been in rehabilitation since, unable to join his under-23s team-mates in action or the likes of Curtis Jones, Harvey Elliott and Neco Williams at Melwood.

But his time in the gym will no doubt be productive as he continues to develop physically, with a conversation with Oxlade-Chamberlain providing motivation to push on.

“I had a conversation with him a few weeks ago about it and was comparing his rehab with the stage that I’m at,” Glatzel told LFCTV, on their similarly “tough” injuries.

“He said I just need to keep going and focus and trust the physios.”

He added: “It was great for me to hear that from Ox and for me to know that if I stick to it I will be back, and I will be back to the form I was hitting before this injury.”

Unsurprisingly, Glatzel said he “can’t wait to be back,” with Jurgen Klopp earmarking a senior role for the youngster after impressing over a few short weeks in pre-season, revealing in July that “he will be one of my boys.”

BIRKENHEAD, ENGLAND - Thursday, July 11, 2019: Liverpool's Paul Glatzel during a pre-season friendly match between Tranmere Rovers FC and Liverpool FC at Prenton Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Backing from the likes of Klopp and Oxlade-Chamberlain will be key, with those also on the mend at Melwood likely offering Glatzel support, with Ben Woodburn among those in a similar position.

It aided Danny Ings and Joe Gomez as they worked their way back from long-term issues in Klopp’s first season, while Oxlade-Chamberlain was accompanied by Rhian Brewster in the treatment room last season.

Glatzel finds himself in a difficult position, but is not far off returning to action, though the former under-18s captain is not looking to rush back.

“I think we are looking at two months or something like that [for my return], maybe the start of April,” he explained.

“Obviously, I don’t want to rush anything because it’s a long-term injury and the season will be nearly finished so I just want to get right for pre-season, but that’s what I’m aiming for.”

It will be interesting to see where Glatzel fits in on his return, as he aims to make up for lost time while Brewster reports back from a positive loan spell with Swansea and new signings potentially arrive in attack.

He is immensely gifted, however, and Klopp clearly has plans for the teenager in the first-team setup.