Diogo Jota has become the third Liverpool player to pick up an injury during post-season internationals, with the forward suffering a thigh problem with Portugal.
It is less than three weeks until the Reds reconvene for the first day of pre-season at Kirkby, though it remains to be seen which players report back on July 4.
The majority of Jurgen Klopp‘s key players – save the likes of Jordan Henderson, Luis Diaz and Joel Matip – were involved in post-season qualifiers and friendlies, with this round of the UEFA Nations League finally concluding on Tuesday.
After 63 games across four competitions at club level, it is no surprise that those on international duty are picking up injuries.
Thiago was forced out of the Spain squad ahead of their clashes with Portugal, Switzerland and the Czech Republic, while Mohamed Salah missed Egypt’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Ethiopia and the friendly in South Korea.
Now the Portuguese Football Federation have confirmed that Jota sustained a thigh injury during the 1-0 defeat to Switzerland on Sunday.
Jota played the final 28 minutes in Geneva, in a game decided by Haris Seferovic’s first-minute goal, but complained of discomfort after the final whistle.
He underwent a scan with his national team, with Liverpool kept informed along the way, and will now depart for his post-season break nursing an injury.
This can be considered a setback for the 25-year-old, particularly given the proximity to pre-season, but he was likely to have been granted an extended break either way.
It could be an important summer for Jota, who will return to training with a new rival for his spot in attack, with Darwin Nunez set to arrive from Benfica.
Nunez is expected to take up a key role in attack alongside Salah and Diaz, with Jota among those challenging for a spot after a frustrating end to the campaign.
Jota made 55 appearances for Liverpool last season – the second-most of any player – and scored 21 goals – his best-ever tally for a single campaign – but only found the back of the net four times in his final 25 games.
The 25-year-old ended the season on a barren run, without a goal in 13 outings, but did still show positive signs as he laid on five assists in that time.