It is now exactly seven months since Kaide Gordon was involved in a matchday squad for Liverpool, despite no specifics known on the winger’s long-term injury.
Midway through an outstanding first full season at Anfield, which saw him feature four times and net his debut goal for the senior side, Gordon suffered a series of setbacks.
Following a bout of COVID-19, the 17-year-old picked up a fitness issue – days after his record-breaking strike in February – that ultimately ended his campaign early.
But after seven months out, Gordon is still yet to take part in full training or a competitive fixture for Liverpool.
Bobby Clark, Layton Stewart, Melkamu Frauendorf and Harvey Blair have served as the primary options in the under-21s attack in his absence this season.
And the under-19s kicked off their UEFA Youth League campaign with a 2-1 victory over Napoli on Wednesday, with 16-year-old Ben Doak, a summer signing from Celtic, scoring and assisting in Gordon’s place on the right flank.
During the LFCTV broadcast of that win in Naples, commentator Steve Hunter explained that the club were simply remaining “careful” with the youngster’s rehabilitation.
The exact injury plaguing Gordon is still unknown, but it is suggested that there is no main cause for his time on the sidelines – rather a series of problems related to his physical development.
It is not uncommon for young players – particularly those in attacking roles – to endure these growing pains, with exposure to the high-intensity training sessions within Klopp’s first team no doubt amplifying the issue for Gordon.
Gordon has already been pictured in the gym at the AXA Training Centre on a number of occasions and, in August, GOAL’s Neil Jones claimed he would be back in a matter of weeks.
The timeframe for his return has clearly been elongated, but that demonstrates the club’s medical staff taking no risks with a player who is highly regarded by Klopp and his assistants.
When the winger does make his comeback, it is likely to be at first with the U21s and U19s, having been registered as part of the 40-man squad for the UEFA Youth League.