Trent Alexander-Arnold has missed just one game through injury this season but it was expected to be more, and it could have been had he not “pushed myself to the limits.”
Since 2017/18, Alexander-Arnold has averaged 38.6 games per season and at just 24, it means he has amassed 244 appearances for Liverpool so far.
That does not happen without a gritty determination to succeed and pushing through the pain barrier, something that then requires management from elsewhere to ensure he does not overdo it.
It was the case when he sustained an ankle injury at Arsenal which had Jurgen Klopp initially saying “it doesn’t look good” – but just one week later he was back on the pitch late in the win over Man City.
Since that late cameo at Anfield in mid-October, Alexander-Arnold has twice played the full 90 minutes, has twice been subbed off and has come off the bench for the last half an hour.
“I always feel that deep down you know it’s bad or not, I’ve always sensed that,” the No. 66 told Red Bull of injuries.
“I mean, I didn’t hear any clicks or anything like that [in the ankle vs. Arsenal], so I knew it wasn’t a break or anything but it was painful.
“It was one of them where it just like hurts to walk, hurts to jog, hurts do anything – every aspect of any movement was just pure pain.”
His minutes have been rightly managed since his ankle injury and the No. 66 touched on how the feeling of being powerless as a driving factor to make a quick return from injury, as he explained:
“Yes [I currently feel fit], I wouldn’t say I rushed back but I kind of pushed myself to the limits to get back as quick as possible.
“Through that, I think I was managed at certain games and stuff like that, in and out to just make sure I wasn’t overdoing it.
“You do you feel like I need to help and be a part of it, help get everything back going and stuff like that.”
“There’s also the aspect of I always hate the feeling of being powerless when I’m watching a game I can’t physically influence. That’s frustrating.
“Everybody will say this, like when you watch and you think, ‘I’ll be able to change the game, I’ll be able to do this, I’ll be able to do that’.
“And that’s just frustrating when you’re not able to physically do it. I think once you’re in the game you have a better feel of what’s going on.”
Currently, only four Liverpool players have amassed more minutes than Alexander-Arnold this season (1,337).