Jurgen Klopp was forced to substitute Curtis Jones halfway through Liverpool’s 2-1 win over Norwich, but has claimed that his thigh problem is not a “real injury.”
Jones was left out of the Reds’ matchday squad for the League Cup final, and cast a muted figure in the celebrations at Wembley.
The 21-year-old has continually found himself on the fringes of late, sitting out of four games in the last five, but was back in the starting lineup for Wednesday’s FA Cup fifth-round tie.
Concerns over a drop in form were allayed as Jones produced an impressive first-half showing, only to be brought off at half-time as Harvey Elliott came on.
Having signalled to the club’s medical staff that he had felt his thigh over the opening 45 minutes – in which he hit the bar and set up a chance for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – the decision was made to take no risks.
And speaking in his post-match press conference, Klopp mentioned his belief that it was not a “real injury” – or in other words, Jones is unlikely to face time out.
“Curtis Jones played a really good first half. We had to take him off because he felt the thigh slightly,” he said.
“I don’t think it’s a real injury, but there was no need to take a risk and that’s why we brought Harvey on.”
Elsewhere in his press conference, Klopp hailed Jones as “exceptional” as he maintained his record of starting in every FA Cup game this season so far.
The hope will be that this thigh injury – or his inability to play the full 90 minutes on Wednesday – will not hold him back further, with an opening in side available the following Thiago‘s layoff.