Jurgen Klopp has revealed that Thiago‘s return is still a “few weeks” away at the very least as he continues his recovery from a “massive impact” on his knee.
The Spaniard has played just 135 minutes for the Reds due to a combination of injury and COVID-19, with the former forcing his absence since October 17 after a reckless challenge from Richarlison in the Merseyside derby.
Thiago played on in the last remaining moments of the game but the force of the challenge on his right knee has been enough to see him miss the Reds’ last nine games.
And while the boss made it known that no damage was sustained to his knee, the impact was enough to ensure he would not bounce back with any immediacy, and after being coy on his return in the weeks since Klopp looked to clarify the situation surrounding the No. 6.
“Thiago we have to clarify a bit,” Klopp told reporters on Monday. “On that day, when Thiago got injured in that bad challenge in that Everton game there was another bad injury and after the scans, it was like okay one was really bad news and the other one was good news because nothing was broke, nothing was ruptured.
“But how we realise now it was still a massive impact on the knee so the problem is that in a situation like that you try. Nothing is ruptured, nothing is broken so that means everybody thinks you can go after a few days but the impact on the knee was that big that it is still not okay.
“It’s not massive and he trains from time to time in the moment but not in the moment because we just have to realise we have to go a few further steps.
“That’s it, I can’t say when he will be fine but it will take a few weeks still. That’s how it is.”
Considering the impact of the injury and the sparse information on his recovery, it does not come as a surprise that Thiago is not close to his return but it continues to leave Klopp shorthanded in midfield within a relentless schedule.
There has been no setback in his recovery, nor is surgery required, it is simply taking longer than initially expected for him to make a return to full fitness.
On the injury front ahead of Ajax’s visit on Tuesday, Liverpool will still be without Trent Alexander-Arnold, Naby Keita, Xherdan Shaqiri, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and James Milner, with the latter having sustained a hamstring injury at Brighton.