Liverpool have endured a torrid time with injuries as one step forward is always met by two steps back, with players yo-yoing in and out of the squad.
Injuries have not been kind to Liverpool so far this season – and that’s putting it lightly.
Whether in defence, midfield or attack, no department has been safe and it’s had quite the effect on Jurgen Klopp‘s ability to rotate effectively and, in turn, performances and results.
The manager has said Nunez “should be back” for the trip to Ajax but his minor injury made sure his name was added to a long list of Reds who have missed games with a fitness issue this season.
In fact, only eight senior players have avoided injury altogether throughout the 16 games played so far this campaign.
As a result, Van Dijk has played every minute of every game (1,440 minutes) and Salah is not far behind (1,323), nor is Fabinho (1,136).
That in itself will be a concern in what is a relentless and demanding season, as while Liverpool have no choice but to play them, they are already pushing them close to the red zone.
It’s a cycle that is hard to break and Klopp admitted as much before the trip to Forest.
“The problem is when you start with injuries in the season, then the boys who come back very often have to play too early, because there are no other options,” he said.
And the same can be said of those that have to play too much because there are no other options. It’s proving a hard cycle to break with 19 players sharing in a combined 119 games missed – and counting.
Games missed due to injury this season
- Calvin Ramsay: 15* games
- Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain: 14
- Naby Keita: 13*
- Ibrahima Konate: 12*
- Curtis Jones: 11
- Caoimhin Kelleher: 10
- Diogo Jota: 8*
- Joel Matip: 7*
- Arthur: 6*
- Thiago: 5
- Luis Diaz: 4*
- Andy Robertson: 4
- Jordan Henderson: 3
- Kostas Tsimikas: 2
- Alisson: 1
- Trent Alexander-Arnold: 1
- Fabio Carvalho: 1
- Roberto Firmino 1
- Darwin Nunez: 1*
*Not yet returned to matchday squad