Caoimhin Kelleher has detailed the “strange” road to recovery he is following after Liverpool were forced into lockdown, depriving him of access to Melwood.
The Irish goalkeeper has been sidelined since February with a torn MCL, having made nine appearances for the academy this season along with four outings at first-team level.
He is one of those for which this break in the campaign has proved timely, as he and the likes of Alisson, Yasser Larouci and Xherdan Shaqiri are allowed further time to recover while games are suspended.
But it has also meant Kelleher is required to undergo his own treatment at home, beginning with strength work, jogging and footwork exercises to others more focused on the role of the goalkeeper.
And though he is nearing a return to full fitness Kelleher has elaborated on the “strange” situation in an interview with LiverpoolFC.com.
The 21-year-old revealed that he is at “90 percent,” and with his knee “still healing” it has “not been the case that I’ve needed to be at Melwood, so it’s been OK that I’ve been away.”
Kelleher explained that he had been sent routines to follow by fitness staff David Rydings and Joe Lewis, and has been “doing them, videoing them and sending to him and [Lewis has] been looking at them and seeing if I can change anything.”
The availability of video conferencing and mobile phones has aided the current situation much better than it would have 30 years ago, with Kelleher able to speak to Rydings and Lewis as he makes progress.
“They’re always in contact. John’s always on the phone or texting me, asking how my knee is and stuff like that,” he said.
“And I’ve been chatting to them and telling them that everything is going well with my rehab.
“We have a goalkeeper group chat that [the coaches] have sent drills into. The last few weeks I haven’t been able to do them, but probably starting this week I’ll be able to do them.
“They’ve been sending drills in for all the goalkeepers that we can do to keep our fitness up and stuff like that.”
Adrian provided an example of the drills Achterberg and Robinson have put together with a video on his Instagram, with the Spaniard utilising his garden fence to work on his reflexes:
Kelleher described the squad’s Zoom sessions as “good craic,” and added that he has been able to join the squad on a number of occasions now as his injury improves.
The No. 62 is clearly an important part of Jurgen Klopp‘s squad, and a delay in the season may aid his long-term goal of securing a place in the matchday 18 on a regular basis, challenging with Adrian as second choice.