Liverpool believe reports claiming Trent Alexander-Arnold will miss a month of action with a calf injury are ‘premature’, with his problem said to be too early to diagnose.
Alexander-Arnold was forced off midway through the second half of Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Man City, having pulled up attempting a sprint off the ball.
Speaking after the game, Jurgen Klopp ruled his right-back out of contention for England in the international break, with the club awaiting a scan on his injury on Monday.
The evening brought widespread reports that Alexander-Arnold faced a month on the sidelines, with the Merseyside press indicating that he would miss upcoming games against Leicester, Atalanta, Brighton, Ajax and possibly Wolves.
But the Press Association report that “Liverpool insist it is too early to put a timeframe” on his recovery, with the club of the belief that such a prognosis is “premature and speculative.”
Recovery time. pic.twitter.com/iNvFcMf4Id
— Trent Alexander-Arnold (@TrentAA) November 9, 2020
Whether this is good or bad news remains to be seen, but it is likely that Alexander-Arnold will be required to wait for swelling to reduce before any accurate return date can be determined.
However, early signs are that it is not too costly, and if there is a chance he can recover sooner even that would be a major boost to the Reds.
Klopp is likely to turn to James Milner as his first-choice right-back in the absence of his No. 66, though Neco Williams also has a claim to a starting spot as the specialist option within the first-team squad.
Jordan Henderson could also fill in, as could Fabinho when fit and even Joe Gomez, though all three will also be required in their natural positions.
The timing of Alexander-Arnold’s injury is at least positive in terms of the international break, with close to a fortnight until the Reds’ next game, as the visit of Leicester is currently scheduled for November 21.
That provides the 22-year-old with time to recover while not missing any action, and Liverpool will hopefully be in a better position later this month with Fabinho and Thiago both expected back to take on Brendan Rodgers’ table-toppers.
However, it is right to approach this latest setback, and these ‘premature’ claims, with a measure of caution – with it safer to expect a month-long layoff at this point.