Jurgen Klopp has confirmed that he expects Virgil van Dijk, Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino back from long-term injuries in a “couple of weeks.”
It has, again, been the story of Liverpool’s season as Klopp navigates an ongoing injury problem.
At present, the Reds have seven long-term absentees including youngsters Marcelo Pitaluga and Kaide Gordon, with Luis Diaz and Arthur also sidelined.
While Klopp admitted it “takes longer” for Diaz, who is out with another serious knee injury, the trio of Van Dijk, Jota and Firmino are “closer” to rejoining training.
“Closer, yes. [Imminent], no,” he told reporters on Friday.
“They will take another couple of weeks, I think, until they can start training.
“Luis takes longer, but Diogo, Bobby and Virgil, in a couple of weeks they’ll be part of training.
“Then we have to see how quick it goes from there.”
It will be a big boost to have Van Dijk, Jota and Firmino back, as three integral players within Klopp’s system – particularly Van Dijk, who started every game in the Premier League and Champions League prior to his layoff.
But while it will be a “couple of weeks” before they are able to train again, it is still unclear when they will be back in action.
Previously, Klopp expressed his belief that Jota would be fit for the Champions League last-16 tie against Real Madrid on February 21, which would see him miss four more games.
That is likely to be realistic for both Van Dijk and Firmino, too, which rules them out against Brighton, Wolves, Everton and Newcastle.