Jurgen Klopp does not expect Thiago to be “100 percent back” until after the November international break, but he would not rule his No. 6 out for Atletico or West Ham just yet.
Liverpool’s No. 6 has had one hurdle after another to clear since joining the club, with his latest a calf injury that has kept him sidelined since September 18.
The visit of Brighton marks six weeks out of action and while a return to team training on Thursday was a welcome boost, there is still a lot of work for Thiago to do.
The sight of the Spaniard with his teammates at Kirkby was met with excitement but on Friday Klopp was quick to say “it doesn’t mean he is ready to play a football game.”
But the manager went into more detail about Thiago and his possible return as while he cannot rule out the midfielder for the next three games, the plan is for a “proper, proper training block.”
“Until we see him at his absolute best probably [after the international break] because now he needs training and, hopefully, he can just train from now on,” Klopp said.
“We have three games in between now and then so I would not rule him out for the next games if he trains normal.
“And then is he ready to get minutes?
“Maybe now I get to the sports science centre and they tell me ‘yesterday, everything looked like he could have gone for 60 minutes and then I say, ‘okay, let’s have a look and see if we can do something for [Saturday]’.
“I don’t expect that. The plan is that now he has a block of proper, proper training for a few days on the pitch with the ball, with the team plus extra training.
“We have Wednesday, then Sunday but after the international break, I expect him to be 100 percent back. He wants to be back earlier but we have to see if that’s possible.”
With Jordan Henderson, Curtis Jones, Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain the current fit midfield options, a chance for Thiago to feature off the bench before the break would be a welcome sight.
Liverpool know not to rush the comeback, but it’s clear that he is making positive steps forward and the end is nearly in sight.