An ankle injury has curtailed an outstanding start to the season for Liverpool loanee Marcelo Pitaluga, who has temporarily returned from Macclesfield.
Pitaluga is thriving in his first campaign at senior level, having joined non-league Macclesfield on a season-long loan to gain vital experience.
While the level may be far off that of Liverpool, the physical and mental challenges should steel the Brazilian for a gradual step up to the first-team fold on Merseyside.
In 23 games prior to Tuesday’s trip to Runcorn Linnets, Pitaluga had kept 11 clean sheets and conceded only 17 goals, but injury struck in Cheshire.
The 19-year-old lasted around an hour before being forced off, having picked up an injury during an attempted clearance, with medical staff supporting him as he left the pitch.
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Still a full-time presence at the AXA Training Centre, Pitaluga then returned to Liverpool for scans, and it has now been revealed that he has suffered ankle ligament damage.
Macclesfield have subsequently ruled their loanee out of their upcoming clash with Prescot Cables, and explained that “early indications suggest that he may be ruled out until the New Year.”
Pitaluga will continue to receive “specialist treatment” with the medical staff of his parent club, as has been the case for Crawley loanee James Balagizi.
With Macclesfield not training every day as a non-league side, an agreement was struck to allow the former Fluminense youth to stay with Liverpool throughout the week and turn out for fixtures with his loan club.
He has worked regularly with the first team at the AXA Training Centre, with Jurgen Klopp namechecking him as a long-term option recently.
It appears as though plans are to eventually bring Pitaluga into the senior setup, potentially as a replacement for Caoimhin Kelleher if the Irishman decides to move on in search of a starting spot elsewhere.
For now, though, his focus will be on recovering well and returning to action with Macclesfield as soon as possible.