Diogo Jota is to be out of action for up to eight weeks after suffering a knee injury, which could rule the Liverpool winger out of 13 games.
The in-form forward is the latest injury casualty for the Reds and his bright start has been brought to an abrupt end with a layoff now to contend with.
Jota played 87 minutes in the 1-1 draw against Midtjylland in midweek in what was a dead-rubber and sustained the injury which is now to see him miss the busiest part of the season.
It was initially described as a “knock” by Jurgen Klopp, but after waiting for the knee to settle, the manager has told Sky Sports he will be out for six to eight weeks.
It means Jota, who has scored nine goals in 17 appearances, will miss up to 15 games and leaves him in doubt for the first leg of the last 16 of the Champions League in February.
Liverpool games Jota is set to miss
- Fulham (A) – Premier League – Dec 13
- Tottenham (H) – Premier League – Dec 16
- Crystal Palace (A) – Premier League – Dec 19
- West Brom (H) – Premier League – Dec 27
- Newcastle (A) – Premier League – Dec 30
- Southampton (A) – Premier League – Jan 2
- Aston Villa (A) – FA Cup – Jan 8
- Burnley (H) – Premier League – Jan 13
- Man United (H) – Premier League – Jan 16
- * FA Cup Fourth Round – Jan 23/24
- Tottenham (A) – Premier League – Jan 27
- West Ham (A) – Premier League – Jan 30
- Brighton (H) – Premier League – Feb 3
- Man City (H) – Premier League – Feb 6
- * FA Cup Fifth Round – Feb 9/10
* If Liverpool qualify.
The earliest possible game he could return within this timeframe is in the FA Cup fourth round on the weekend of January 23/24, provided the Reds progress, while more realistically it would be the trip to Leicester currently set for February 13.
Liverpool return to Champions League action on February 16 at the earliest, with the first leg of their last-16 tie able to land on any of February 16, 17, 23 or 24.
Jota becomes the fourth Red to be hit with a knee issue this season following on from Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Thiago – there are hopes the latter will return soon after the New Year.
It’s yet another blow for Liverpool after Jota had burst onto the scene as the fourth forward in the ranks, but means opportunities now await the likes of Takumi Minamino, Divock Origi and the returning Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
The setback for Jota marks the 16th Red to have been forced out of action this season through either injury or COVID-19, with luck firmly not on Liverpool’s side.