Jurgen Klopp has given a new update on Luis Diaz‘s recovery and set a timeframe for his return, with a “real impact” still possible this season.
Though their chances of progressing to the quarter-finals of the Champions League are slim to none, the Reds still have 15 crucial games left in the league.
That includes a busy April that will see them play seven times, including clashes with Man City, Chelsea and Arsenal in the space of nine days directly after the international break.
It seems, then, that Liverpool are pencilling in Diaz’s return to the starting fold for that stretch of games, as Klopp explained before the visit of Wolves.
“We will see, but I’m positive about him that there’s a good chance to have a real impact in like 10, 11, 12 games, maybe,” he said.
Incidentally, the final 12 games of the season start with the trip to Man City on April 1.
“We’ll see how long it takes exactly,” Klopp continued.
“I think it’s estimated maybe warming up next week with the team, stuff like this, then a week later being in team training, that would be cool.
“You always have to wait. Today I saw it, a very intense session, a lot of changes of direction, stuff like this.
“If there’s no reaction from that and they can make the next step, then I think it’s not too far away.”
The effect of losing Diaz to two long-term knee injuries on Liverpool’s fortunes this season cannot be undersold, with the Colombian immediately establishing himself as a key player upon his arrival for Porto.
Klopp was asked whether the winger could be expected to make a similar impact upon his return to that of this time last year, but insisted it was a “different situation.”
“He came here from playing all the games for Porto pretty much and now he’s out with an injury, for the second time pretty much,” he replied.
However, Klopp added: “I can tell you, in the two sessions he had with us in Dubai, it was like ‘oh my god – how good is that?’.
“Then he was injured again. When he’s back he will be really good and very impactful, of course, that’s clear.
“How quick, I don’t know. We have to see. That’s the big challenge in these moments: there’s no time to be patient but you have to be patient. That’s it.”
Diaz’s return to the squad could have been the Fulham fixture that was due to be played before the international break, but will now be postponed due to the Cottagers’ involvement in the FA Cup quarter-final.