Good news on Thiago & Alisson injuries – with goalkeeper due back before Man City game

Liverpool suffered a terrible confirmation of news at the weekend as Virgil van Dijk‘s scan showed ACL damage – but there is good news for two other key figures in the squad.

The 2020/21 season was always likely to be one where injuries mounted up, rotation was imperative and having a consistent XI was more difficult than usual – though the hope would likely have been for shorter, more frustrating niggles and strains rather than a host of long-term absences.

Van Dijk’s time on the sidelines won’t be the last injury Liverpool’s squad suffers, with the current run of seven games in a month before the November international break being followed by another nine fixtures in around 33 days, depending on when some are moved for television purposes.

But while that’s one situation to manage carefully, we are inching closer to getting a couple of important players back on the pitch more quickly than expected.

The Athletic say Thiago “avoided serious injury” after Richarlison’s horror tackle in the derby, despite initial fears that he would be set for his own lengthy spell on the sidelines.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, October 17, 2020: Liverpool’s Thiago Alcantara is treated for an injury by physio Chris Morgan during the FA Premier League match between Everton FC and Liverpool FC, the 237th Merseyside Derby, at Goodison Park. The game was played behind closed doors due to the UK government’s social distancing laws during the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic. The game ended in a 2-2 draw. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Jurgen Klopp was pessimistic about the midfielder’s situation after the draw with Everton, and the reaction of several Reds’ team-mates portrayed the fact it was an abysmal tackle which could do serious damage.

Thiago‘s influence has already been hugely felt, despite an interrupted first two months on Merseyside which has included him testing positive for coronavirus, two international breaks and now this injury – but in one-and-a-half league appearances he has, all the same, shown his elite quality.

In addition, Alisson is “ahead of schedule in his recovery” as he looks to return from a shoulder issue.

    LFC fixtures before November international break

  • 21 Oct – Ajax (a) – CL
  • 24 Oct – Sheffield United (h) – PL
  • 27 Oct – FC Midtjylland (h) – CL
  • 31 Oct – West Ham (h) – PL
  • 3 Nov – Atalanta (a) – CL
  • 7 Nov – Man City (a) – PL

The Brazil No. 1 has missed the past two league games through injury and will again be absent for the start of the Champions League group phase, but while he had initially been expected to be sidelined until after the November international break, he now could return beforehand if there are no setbacks.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 12, 2020: Liverpool’s goalkeeper Alisson Becker during the pre-match warm-up before the opening FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Leeds United FC at Anfield. The game was played behind closed doors due to the UK government’s social distancing laws during the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic. Liverpool won 4-3. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

That would be a huge boost for the Reds, who need Alisson now like never before – since he joined the club, Virgil van Dijk has been ever-present in front of him in the back line, the world’s best defender and the natural organiser among the Liverpool defence.

That’s a role others now have to step up to, and Ali is well-known for his impressive communication with his defenders and his ability to read play.

The hope will be that he’s fit and ready to return for our final game before the break, on 7 November – which is away to Manchester City.