Liverpool saw Trent Alexander-Arnold and Naby Keita pull out of international duty this month, with a mixed update on the pair ahead of the domestic return.
The Reds are back in action this Saturday with the visit of relegation candidates Watford, and it remains to be seen who will be available.
Fifteen senior players are currently with their national teams, while Jurgen Klopp was left to contend with injury and illness throughout his squad for the final game before the break.
Both Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson missed the 1-0 win over Nottingham Forest, though the latter is now back in action after recovering from COVID-19.
According to The Athletic‘s James Pearce, however, Alexander-Arnold still faces a “race against time” for his intended return date of April 10, when Liverpool head to Man City.
The right-back is already set to miss both the Watford clash (April 2) and the Champions League quarter-final first leg against Benfica (April 5), but it is explained that a comeback at the Etihad would “still represent a quick return to action.”
“Alexander-Arnold, who has been doing his rehab at Dubai’s Nad Al Sheba Sports Complex, has some important hurdles to clear in the coming week before he is given the green light to resume full training at Kirkby,” Pearce writes.
“A sense of optimism is fuelled by the fact that he has previously returned earlier than expected from injury setbacks but Jurgen Klopp won’t take any risks with his most creative player.”
Meanwhile, the knee injury that saw Keita pull out of Guinea’s friendly against South Africa is described as “minor,” with no suggestion that he will be missing on Saturday.
Bar any further setbacks for those on international duty, Liverpool should have a near fully fit squad for the upcoming games.
Alexander-Arnold is the headline absentee, with no other concerns as Robertson and James Milner are both back from Covid.
For Milner, along with Joel Matip, Thiago, Ibrahima Konate and Roberto Firmino, the final international break of the season has even served as an opportunity to rest and recharge ahead of a busy run of fixtures.
Liverpool are currently set to play eight times in April, but that could rise to nine if they progress to the semi-finals of the Champions League.