Jurgen Klopp hints that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain could return in “next few days”

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Jurgen Klopp has revealed that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is looking “really promising” as he edges closer to a return to team training, hinting that he could play soon.

Oxlade-Chamberlain is yet to feature for the Reds in any capacity this campaign after picking up a knee injury in the first days of pre-season training.

The 27-year-old, who has been plagued with fitness issues for much of his senior career, has therefore missed the last three-and-a-half months of action – a frustrating turn of events after playing 43 times last term.

But in recent weeks the midfielder has been pictured stepping up his recovery work in Liverpool’s new gym at Kirkby, which was the case again on Friday as he was joined by fellow absentees Virgil van Dijk, James Milner and Xherdan Shaqiri.

Speaking in his press conference at the training ground, Klopp specifically highlighted Oxlade-Chamberlain after being pushed on the club’s injury problems.

“Ox looks really promising, but that’s obviously [not for now],” he said ahead of Sunday’s visit of Wolves.

“He’s doing a lot of stuff, he’s warming up with the team now, some ball work, a lot of stuff.

“But we will develop that now over the next few days, and then we will see from which moment on it makes sense to throw him in.

“He’s not too far away.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, July 22, 2020: Liverpool’s Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (C) celebrates scoring his side's fifth goal, to make the score 5-3, with team-mate Curtis Jones during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Chelsea 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. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Klopp had said that Oxlade-Chamberlain would be monitored “over the next few days and weeks,” but quickly clarified that it would instead be “days,” suggesting he is now close to a return to team training.

It would be a big boost for both player and club, with the England international a key attacking outlet and a versatile talent who can step in for Liverpool in both midfield and out wide.

On his return, however, Oxlade-Chamberlain will face a fight for a starting place, despite the myriad injury problems Klopp is facing throughout his squad.

The signing of Diogo Jota has provided the manager with another top-level option in attack, and the Portuguese has forced a rotational approach with Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino.

In midfield, the rise of Curtis Jones has arguably seen the No. 17 cement himself as one of Klopp’s go-to options alongside the likes of Jordan Henderson and Gini Wijnaldum, scoring the winner against Ajax on Tuesday night.

This could, however, aid Oxlade-Chamberlain’s transition back into first-team action, as having missed pre-season and spent months on the treatment table, a slow, cautious approach will be required when he returns.

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