LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, August 28, 2021: Liverpool's Thiago Alcantara during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Chelsea FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool injury update on 6 players as Thiago nears return

Pepijn Lijnders has suggested Naby Keita, Fabinho, James Milner and Thiago will all miss Liverpool’s trip to Preston, with the Dutchman providing an injury update.

Lijnders took press conference duties ahead of the League Cup tie, as per usual, with the Reds expected to make a number of changes at Deepdale.

There are big decisions to make when it comes to Jurgen Klopp‘s midfield, with Keita and Milner both sidelined during Sunday’s 5-0 win at Man United and Fabinho ruled out in the buildup.

Thiago is a longer-term absentee, with a calf injury ruling him out since the 3-0 win over Crystal Palace on September 18.

But the Spaniard is nearing a return, possibly as soon as the visit of Brighton on Saturday, with Lijnders explaining the situation to reporters on Tuesday.

Thiago is still not available, but he’s progressing well on the pitch [with] individual sessions,” the assistant manager said.

Brighton will be close, but probably not. He’s almost back, which is really important for us, of course.”

On Keita, Lijnders said: “It was a bad tackle, but luckily Naby’s foot was not on the ground.

“It’s just a bruise, could have looked much worse if his foot was on the grass. We take it day by day, but it’s looking better and better.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, September 14, 2021: Liverpool's Fabio Henrique Tavares 'Fabinho' during a training session at the AXA Training Centre ahead of the UEFA Champions League Group B Matchday 1 game between Liverpool FC and AC Milan. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Fabinho will also be assessed “day by day,” with Lijnders insisting he is “not ruled out for the weekend, but he’s ruled out for tomorrow.”

Milner, meanwhile, is likely to be out until the clash with Arsenal on November 20, with the vice-captain expected to miss the next four games with a hamstring problem.

“It looks like he’s out until the next international break,” Lijnders said, “but we spoke already withn him and he has a very important role to play.

“My title is assistant manager, but I think you can give that title to James Milner as well. He is very vocal, very lively and sets the standard.”

Klopp is likely to make wholesale changes for the midweek tie, though there are doubts over Caoimhin Kelleher after he missed the United game with illness, while Kaide Gordon is ruled out.