Jurgen Klopp provides injury update on Joel Matip and Diogo Jota

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Jurgen Klopp remained coy on Joel Matip starting against Burnley but he has been training “completely normal,” while Diogo Jota is still “a few weeks away.”

It was hoped that Matip would have been named in the starting XI against Man United on Sunday having safely returned to training in the build-up.

But not only did he miss out on a starting place, but he was also omitted from the matchday squad altogether with Jordan Henderson retained at centre-back.

It was the fourth game the No. 32 missed following on from an adductor injury sustained in the draw against West Brom.

Over the weekend the manager suggested he would be fit to start against Burnley on Thursday evening after the Reds erred on the side of caution to build his training load.

And when speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Klopp gave little away by saying a “decision” still needs to be made but the positive is that he has trained “completely normal.”

“Joel is in full training and now we have to make a decision and we will see how that will be,” Klopp said. “Yesterday (Tuesday) he trained completely normal.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, December 6, 2020: Liverpool's Joel Matip celebrates after scoring the third goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Wolverhampton Wanderers FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 4-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Matip’s return would enable Henderson to move back to the midfield, and provide more height in the back third against a Burnley side who favour long balls and set-pieces.

With injury continuing to disrupt his season and a new centre-back seemingly not on the cards, Liverpool will have to carefully manage Matip ahead of a testing run of fixtures which include Tottenham, Man City, Leicester and Leipzig in the next month.

And it’s a run of games the Reds are likely to still be without Jota for as he continues to work his way back to fitness after the knee injury sustained at Midtjylland back at the start of December.

“Diogo is still a few weeks away, don’t know exactly how long but it will not be in the next one or two weeks,” Klopp explained.

“He needs time and the injury needs time. And how much I miss a player is not important as when a player is not there I’m not allowed to miss him, I never think like that.

“It’s just he’s not there and that’s why we have to deal with the situation, but we are all happy, hopefully in the near future when he will be back again.”

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