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Jurgen Klopp explains Thiago absence days after return to training

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Jurgen Klopp has explained the minor fitness issue that ruled Thiago out of Tuesday’s 1-0 loss to Leicester, with the hope being he is fit for Liverpool’s trip to Chelsea.

Thiago returned to training on Boxing Day, following eight days out having tested positive for COVID-19 at Kirkby on December 18.

It left the Spaniard to spend Christmas Day alone, away from his wife and two children, before being reunited on December 26 to celebrate.

His time at home was interrupted, however, by another trip to Liverpool’s training ground, with Klopp holding a session ahead of the clash with Leicester.

Thiago was involved with the group that day, but 48 hours later he was omitted from the squad at the King Power, while Virgil van Dijk and Fabinho, along with substitute Curtis Jones, returned after isolation.

Upon the release of the teamsheet on Tuesday night, it was revealed that both Thiago and Takumi Minamino had been left out due to “minor muscle soreness.”

And speaking to Amazon Prime Video ahead of kickoff, Klopp explained that his No. 6 had felt the effects of his time away from training and had to be omitted.

Thiago was in training one day, actually, and the next day he felt a little bit here and there,” he said.

“So we just had to leave him at home.”

LEICESTER, ENGLAND - Tuesday, December 28, 2021: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp speaks to his players during the FA Premier League match between Leicester City FC and Liverpool FC at the King Power Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool were also without an unnamed young player due to a positive Covid test, and despite Klopp’s call for “transparency” with cases in the Premier League, his identity remains unknown.

Through the process of elimination, it is likely that one of Tyler Morton, Conor Bradley, Kaide Gordon, Harvey Davies or Marcelo Pitaluga is currently sidelined.

The threat of further cases remains as the latest variant spreads throughout the UK, but Klopp will be hopeful that Thiago could be involved against Chelsea on January 2.

Minamino’s absence may be more concerning, and is likely as a result of having played 95 minutes and a penalty shootout against Leicester in the League Cup after two weeks without a start.

Fingers will remain crossed that Minamino and Divock Origi can return to fitness as soon as possible, with Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane due to depart for the Africa Cup of Nations after the Chelsea game.

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