LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, October 11, 2022: Liverpool's Diogo Jota during a training session at the AXA Training Centre ahead of the UEFA Champions League Group A matchday 4 game between Glasgow Rangers FC and Liverpool FC. (Pic by Jessica Hornby/Propaganda)

Liverpool staff “quite optimistic” over Diogo Jota injury return

As Diogo Jota continues his recovery from a long-term calf injury in Dubai, reports from Portugal claim Liverpool are “quite optimistic” on his return.

Jota has been sidelined since the closing stages of the 1-0 win over Man City on October 16, pulling up with a frustrating calf injury just before the final whistle.

It left the forward to miss the World Cup with Portugal, and has seen him sit out eight games for Liverpool so far, with Jurgen Klopp left ruing the “very sad news.”

Soon after, Jota insisted he would be “fighting to be back as soon as possible” after his “dream collapsed,” and his initial return date was set for late January or early February.

Whether that has changed is unclear, but Portuguese newspaper O Jogo – via Sport Witness – has now claimed that the 26-year-old has left Liverpool’s medical staff “quite optimistic.”

That comes as he follows an individual rehabilitation programme at the club’s training camp in Dubai, with sights now set on featuring in the Champions League last-16 ties against Real Madrid.

MADRID, SPAIN - Tuesday, April 6, 2021: Liverpool's Diogo Jota (R) gets away from Real Madrid's Toni Kroos during the UEFA Champions League Quarter-Final 1st Leg game between Real Madird CF and Liverpool FC at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano. (Pic by Propaganda)

The first of those is at Anfield on February 21, which suggests that Jota is at least in line with his early return-to-play timeframe.

It could be that he is slightly ahead, if O Jogo are to be believed, and he could build up minutes in the preceding clashes with Everton (Feb 13) and Newcastle (Feb 18).

Any accelerated return for Jota would be seen as a boost, particularly in light of Luis Diaz‘s latest long-term knee injury.

But that setback for Diaz should also be viewed as a warning sign when it comes to bringing Jota back into the fold, regardless of its nature as a freak issue.

Liverpool will almost certainly take caution with Jota’s recovery, with Darwin Nunez filling in on the left flank in his absence, but the optimism within the camp is a real positive.