Liverpool fans have grown used to injured players being out longer than expected – but hopefully that will not be the case for the most recent pair.
Of course, the most recent example of that is Thiago Alcantara: The Spanish midfielder has a calf issue and his absence has stretched on from the initial game or two prognosis to “after the international break” and, now, fast-approaching the next international break.
Over the past two matches – big games against Atletico Madrid and Man United from which the Reds emerged victorious from both and utterly delirious at inflicting a total humiliation on the latter – three more midfielders have taken knocks and niggles for Jurgen Klopp to deal with.
Thankfully, reports suggest we may see them both back quickly, starting with the Brazilian in our next Premier League game.
Following a collision with an Atleti player during the match, the defensive midfielder suffered bruising to his knee.
According to the Athletic’s James Pearce and Simon Hughes, Liverpool immediately assessed him as “unlikely to be able to manage another game for seven days” – putting him out of the United game and the midweek Preston clash, which he wouldn’t have featured in anyway.
If the recovery remains on that timeframe, he’ll be ready again to face Brighton at the weekend, which would be Fabinho‘s first start for Liverpool in very nearly a month, since 3 October against Man City.
Against United, a more severe-looking injury was sustained by his midfield colleague Keita.
Paul Pogba’s tackle was an awful one, well-deserving of the red card it eventually earned, but the club believe Keita was fortunate that his foot was off the ground and, as such, he was catapulted around by the force of the tackle rather than absorbing the full shock of it.
While Klopp described it as “very painful” for the No8 after the game, Pearce and Hughes note Keita did not leave the ground on crutches after the match and say the Reds “expect any bruising to settle down quickly”.
There’s no associated recovery period mentioned for Keita, who has at times been a little slower to make a full recovery and is generally treated on the safe side when it comes to his returns to action, but at least the worst possibilities for the injury seem to have been avoided.
Separately, while James Milner also went off in the first half, the report suggests he removed himself from the action early as he felt the muscle tightening – so again it is to be hoped that a full-on muscle tear may have been avoided.
Three more injuries for the Reds to cope with and all in the same area of the field, but hopefully on this occasion, we really will see each player making a comeback sooner rather than later.