LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, November 27, 2021: Liverpool's Thiago Alcantara embraces manager Jürgen Klopp after being substituted during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Southampton FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Jurgen Klopp hopeful of Thiago return despite another minor setback

Jurgen Klopp has revealed how Thiago suffered another minor setback following his return to full training early in the week, but remains hopeful he could play on Sunday.

Liverpool are back in action this weekend when they host Cardiff in the fourth round of the FA Cup, with Klopp able to select from a near full-strength squad.

Both Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane will be absent, as they contest the Africa Cup of Nations final, while Divock Origi is effectively ruled out having only rejoined training on Thursday.

It was expected that Thiago could feature, having returned after a month-and-a-half out with a hip injury, but the midfielder has now picked up a chest infection.

However, speaking ahead of the visit of Cardiff, Klopp did not rule out his No. 6 entirely.

“Unfortunately when Covid is around you always think it’s the only infection or virus you can get, but he had a little chest infection, so he had to step a little bit aside again,” he told reporters.

“It’s not perfect, of course, but I expect him to be in team training today again.

“The rest, the injury is completely fine, looked really good in training, but that’s how things are sometimes.

“We will see how we can use him for Sunday.”

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Sunday, October 24, 2021: Liverpool's Naby Keita celebrates after scoring the fifth goal during the FA Premier League match between Manchester United FC and Liverpool FC at Old Trafford. Liverpool won 5-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

One player who could come back into the side after an absence of his own is Naby Keita, who has not been involved since the 2-2 draw with Chelsea a month ago due to his participation at AFCON.

“Naby is completely fine,” Klopp explained.

“Naby came back full of energy, had a few days off as well, came back here after the tournament obviously full of energy and confidence, so that looked good.”

On Origi’s knee injury, Klopp was eager to stress caution, with it likely the forward is slowly reintroduced – particularly as, with the addition of Luis Diaz, Liverpool are no longer short of options in attack.

“Divock [was] yesterday [for the] first time [in] full team training, [and] looked very good,” he said.

“But it was first time full team training after I don’t know exactly how long. It was a while, so from here we go as well.”