Jurgen Klopp has ruled Thiago out of contention for Liverpool’s trip to Man City on Sunday, and suggested he will need more training time before he can return.
Thiago has been sidelined for the last five games with a knee injury suffered in the Merseyside derby, and despite returning to light training at Melwood is still not part of the squad.
A full session on Thursday night saw Thiago absent again, and Friday morning saw Luis Enrique omit the midfielder from his Spain squad for the November international break.
And in his pre-match press conference ahead of the weekend’s clash with Man City, Klopp confirmed that his No. 6 would not be available for selection.
Explaining the situation, the manager reiterated that, when Thiago is again medically fit, he will still need an extended period of full training before he is considered for selection.
“With these kinds of injuries you always look day-to-day,” he told reporters.
“There can be big improvements from one day to the other, and all these kinds of things.
“But in the end, when a boy has no problems anymore, then he has to train.
“The longer he’s out the longer he has to train until we consider him again as a starting lineup player.
“That’s obviously not the case with Thiago, and that means he will not be available for Sunday. That’s it.”
Speaking to the club’s official website, Klopp added: “[He is] still adapting but improving. It will not be too long anymore but for this game I don’t think he will be in.”
This has been the case with Joel Matip, too, with the centre-back now back in training but having spent the midweek Champions League victory over Atalanta on the bench, as Klopp takes a cautious approach.
Matip could return at the Etihad, and this would mark just under a week after his return to full training, though it is still yet to be seen whether he even starts against City.
Given the added demands on players in this shortened, busy campaign, this is a sensible approach, and with the five sub rule now being reconsidered it would be no surprise to see it reintroduced for the second half of the season.