Jurgen Klopp has confirmed that knee surgery has ended Calvin Ramsay‘s season early, explaining that the plan is to “build the boy up” for pre-season.
Having only played twice for the first team since his £6.5 million move from Aberdeen, Ramsay will now be forced to wait until next term for another outing.
The 19-year-old, who arrived for pre-season training with an undiagnosed back injury, has barely trained with the senior squad, and on Thursday underwent surgery on a serious knee issue.
In his pre-Newcastle press conference on Friday, Klopp discussed Ramsay’s nightmare campaign and detailed a recent conversation with the right-back.
“Obviously missing the rest of the season is serious. With Calvin it’s really special,” he said.
“Calvin arrived here and had a back problem I never heard [about] before. When you’re in the growing process it can happen.
“But he played all the games [at Aberdeen], didn’t really feel anything, then came here and we made a proper check and it was like ‘OK, there is something, we need to have a closer look’.
“He had no real pain or whatever, but was not allowed to train for a long period, because otherwise for a young person who is still growing you can create real problems in the long term.
“So there was no chance. Then coming back, into a new team…
“We spoke when it was clear that he had the new injury, I had him in my office and asked ‘how often do you think you have been at your absolute best?’.
“He said ‘not often’, I said ‘never’. Not one day.”
Ramsay will be pencilled in for a return to the squad during pre-season, with an opportunity to build up his fitness before then and then reintegrate himself in warmup friendlies.
This cautious approach, Klopp feels, will benefit the player in the long run.
“You want to adapt to a new thing, but he didn’t train for four months, stuff like this. It’s really tricky,” he said.
“So he was always this step behind. Now he has that injury and this is the season over.
“Even if he could come back a bit earlier, that makes no sense. Because now it’s really [time] to build the boy up physically and then have a new start when we go again.
“So we can’t play catchup all the time with him, because he’s a great talent, a real talent, who had the most unlucky start possible.
“But in the end, when he finishes his career at 36, 37 or whatever, if he can say then that the most difficult year of his career was the first or the second, that’s absolutely OK.
“All the others [could be] better because we did the right things in the first two. That’s what we try to do now with him.”