Diogo Jota has quickly racked up four appearances since his lengthy injury lay-off for a calf issue that most “hadn’t seen before,” requiring the help of specialists.
Jota was stretchered off against Man City back in October, an obvious sign that a serious injury had befallen him, one of a number of setbacks for Liverpool throughout this season.
After nearly four months out and 18 games missed, Jota made his return for Liverpool against Everton and was back in the starting lineup at Crystal Palace.
Jurgen Klopp has acknowledged that the 26-year-old “can play better” but after a “strange” calf injury that puzzled many, it was always bound to take time.
“I had a strange calf injury,” Jota explained to the club’s official website.
“They said to me they hadn’t seen it before, most of the people, so we needed to ask for the help of some specialists as well to try to get over it, and of course to give it a bit more time because of the complexity and just to be safe.
“But yeah, it was very hard, a long time.
“The results, to be honest, didn’t help as well so it was very frustrating to see things happening and not be able to help in any way, well, apart from the dressing room talks but [not] on the field.
“It’s over now, I am back and I want to finish the season available to start with and then obviously if I can help, even better.”
It is no wonder then that Jota spent a significant period on the sidelines, with specialist assistance required to ensure a smooth recovery while limiting the danger of re-injury.
In total, Jota has missed 23 games this season thanks to two different injuries and a swift return to form was never going to be the case.
The No. 20’s priority now is to get his “certainty back,” which will assist in ending his goal drought that dates back to April.
Jota said: “I felt good during the game [at Palace], I had a couple of chances in the box and around, I just need to get my certainty back and I think that will come with more minutes and hopefully [I can] help the team with goals and assists.”