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Liverpool’s Covid cases: What we know so far and when players could return

Liverpool currently have four positive cases of COVID-19 in their first-team squad, which leaves Jurgen Klopp playing a waiting game during a busy schedule.

The Reds are, like almost every other club in the Premier League, struggling with a heightened pressure on their personnel in the festive period.

With the new Omicron variant of COVID-19 spreading rapidly throughout the UK, it is no different among elite footballers, regardless of their vaccine status.

Klopp has revealed that every player in his senior squad has received their second jab, with many of those also having now been given the booster, while the same applies to staff.

But what do we know about Liverpool’s situation with COVID-19, and when could those players who have tested positive return to action?

 

When and how are Liverpool testing?

NHS staff carry out coronavirus tests at a testing facility in Bracebridge Heath, Lincoln (Joe Giddens/PA)

The club are currently testing players and staff daily before they are granted access to the training ground in Kirkby.

If a positive lateral flow test is returned, access is denied to avoid any further spread throughout the squad.

On the eve of fixtures, players and staff undergo a PCR test, with those results revealed on the morning of the game in question.

That is why Liverpool have so far revealed cases shortly before team news is announced.

 

Who is currently out?

LEEDS, ENGLAND - Sunday, September 12, 2021: Liverpool's captain Virgil van Dijk (R) and Fabio Henrique Tavares 'Fabinho' during the FA Premier League match between Leeds United FC and Liverpool FC at Elland Road. Liverpool won 3-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Virgil van Dijk, Fabinho and Curtis Jones were the first reported cases in the Liverpool squad, with all three ruled out on the day of the 3-1 win over Newcastle at Anfield.

Thiago then followed ahead of the 2-2 draw with Tottenham.

Jordan Henderson is currently sidelined with an illness but tested negative for COVID-19, while Divock Origi is out but it is maintained that this is due to injury.

 

When could they be back?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, November 24, 2021: Liverpool's Thiago Alcantara celebrates after scoring the first goal during the UEFA Champions League Group B Matchday 5 game between Liverpool FC and FC Porto at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Klopp has confirmed that none of Van Dijk, Fabinho, Jones and Thiago were tested having shown symptoms, which suggests that their cases emerged on the day they were reported.

In that case, with positive cases requiring a 10-day isolation period after the day of the test, the earliest fixtures for those four players to return are as follows:

Virgil van DijkLeicester (A), Dec 28
FabinhoLeicester (A), Dec 28
Curtis JonesLeicester (A), Dec 28
ThiagoChelsea (A), Jan 2

However, their isolation could be extended if they begin to show symptoms, while they are likely to require extra training time before they are used.

 

What has Klopp said?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, September 15, 2021: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp after the UEFA Champions League Group B Matchday 1 game between Liverpool FC and AC Milan at Anfield. (Pic by UEFA)

Speaking ahead of the clash with Tottenham on December 19, Klopp called for more transparency from other clubs when it comes to who has tested positive:

“At Manchester United, I heard a number of players [who tested positive]. I have no idea who are the players, I have no idea who had the virus at Tottenham.

“Is it necessary to know who or how many? Knowing nothing is quite strange.

[…]

“I just don’t think we have anything to hide. Our first and most important concern is that the boys are healthy,” Klopp added.

“So if someone has the flu and you ask me, I say he has flu. If somebody has a broken toe, if I know it I say he has a broken toe.

“I know it’s difficult because one is a pandemic and one is an individual injury but we have to find a way to get through all this and I think the exchange of information is pretty helpful.”

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