LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, August 19, 2023: Liverpool's Thiago Alcântara (L) and John Powell during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and AFC Bournemouth at Anfield. Liverpool won 3-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Thiago still not in Liverpool training despite Jurgen Klopp return claim

Though Jurgen Klopp claimed that Thiago would return to full training for the visit of Aston Villa, the midfielder was again missing on Wednesday.

Thiago underwent surgery to correct a long-standing hip injury towards the end of last season, and three months on he is yet to fully recover.

The 32-year-old has joined various sessions at the AXA Training Centre, but as it stands has not been a regular in first-team training.

Prior to the 2-1 win over Newcastle, Klopp explained the plan for both Thiago and Curtis Jones to rejoin the squad in preparation for the upcoming clash with Aston Villa.

But as a 30-man squad stepped up training on Wednesday, there was no sign of the Spaniard.

Jones was among those to train, as was Stefan Bajcetic, with nine midfielders involved in the session including youngsters Bobby Clark and James McConnell.

SINGAPORE - Saturday, July 29, 2023: Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk during a training session ahead of the pre-season friendly match between Liverpool FC and Leicester City FC at the Singapore National Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

There were fewer centre-backs available, with Virgil van Dijk training but suspended for the weekend, leaving only Joe Gomez, Joel Matip and Jarell Quansah.

Other academy players involved were Luke Chambers, Lewis Koumas and goalkeepers Marcelo Pitaluga, Vitezslav Jaros and Fabian Mrozek.

Pitaluga, 20, received glowing praise from Van Dijk and Mohamed Salah for a series of saves during a shooting drill.

Thiago was at the AXA Training Centre on Wednesday, but is likely to have followed an individual programme having not joined his team-mates.

Also absent were the injured Ibrahima Konate and Conor Bradley, along with Nat Phillips, who instead travelled to Glasgow to complete a short-term loan to Celtic.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Thursday, December 22, 2022: Liverpool's Thiago Alcântara during the Football League Cup 4th Round match between Manchester City FC and Liverpool FC at the City of Manchester Stadium. Manchester City won 3-2. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The ongoing recovery of Thiago will remain a concern for Liverpool staff, though caution will be taken with his reintegration either way.

Given the nature of his injury and the necessity of surgery, there could be genuine worries over Thiago‘s long-term fitness moving forward.

However, the hope is that, once fit, the veteran can produce a consistent final campaign at Anfield ahead of an expected free transfer next summer.

Celta Vigo will be among the clubs interested when his contract does expire, with Thiago‘s father, Mazinho, admitting this week that he would like to see his son return “home.”

Liverpool squad in training on Wednesday

SINGAPORE - Saturday, July 29, 2023: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah during a training session ahead of the pre-season friendly match between Liverpool FC and Leicester City FC at the Singapore National Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Goalkeepers: Alisson, Kelleher, Adrian, Pitaluga, Jaros, Mrozek

Defenders: Van Dijk*, Gomez, Matip, Quansah, Alexander-Arnold, Robertson, Tsimikas, Chambers

Midfielders: Szoboszlai, Mac Allister, Endo, Jones, Elliott, Bajcetic, Morton, Clark, McConnell

Forwards: Salah, Diaz, Gakpo, Nunez, Jota, Doak, Koumas

* Suspended