Jurgen Klopp has revealed that Thiago is suffering with a hip injury following his brief return to training on Boxing Day, ruling him out of the trip to Chelsea.
Thiago has not featured for Liverpool since the 3-1 win over Newcastle on December 16, with a positive COVID-19 test forcing him into seven-day isolation.
The midfielder then reported back for the Reds’ Boxing Day session at Kirkby, only to miss the away clash with Leicester on Tuesday night, with the club reporting “minor muscle tightness.”
He was joined on the treatment table by Takumi Minamino, following his heroics in the League Cup, and neither will be fit for Stamford Bridge.
Speaking in his pre-match press conference, Klopp explained that Thiago is suffering with a hip problem, with “no idea” as to its severity at this stage.
“Taki is probably closer. Taki is running outside, Thiago not yet,” he said.
“It means for him it might take a bit longer.
“It’s a hip issue, which we actually have no idea where it’s coming from, so we have to be a little bit patient with that.”
The timing of Thiago‘s injury is not particularly helpful, given three, as-yet-unnamed first-team players have tested positive for Covid this week and Naby Keita will soon depart for the Africa Cup of Nations.
While Klopp is well-stocked in midfield, he could be without Thiago, Keita and Harvey Elliott for much of January, leaving Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, James Milner and Curtis Jones battling for a spot alongside Fabinho and Jordan Henderson.
Furthermore, the manager will be missing Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane during the tournament in Cameroon, and along with Minamino, squad players Divock Origi and Nat Phillips are also sidelined.
Andy Robertson will see out the final game of his three-match suspension on Sunday, with Klopp certainly short of options for a vital clash.