KARLSRUHE, GERMANY - Wednesday, July 19, 2023: Liverpool players line-up for a team group photograph before a pre-season friendly match between Karlsruher SC and Liverpool FC at the Wildparkstadion. Back row L-R: Ibrahima Konaté, Dominik Szoboszlai, Darwin Núñez, goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher, Virgil van Dijk, Bobby Clark. Front row L-R: Conor Bradley, Andy Robertson, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Mohamed Salah, Luis Díaz. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Conor Bradley injury latest as manager makes “touch and go” claim

Liverpool right-back Conor Bradley is yet to feature this season due to a back injury, with the youngster “touch and go” for games in November.

Bradley was primed for a regular role in the Liverpool squad this campaign, after serving as deputy to Trent Alexander-Arnold in the early weeks of pre-season.

But the 20-year-old was sidelined midway through the warmup schedule and has not been involved for club and country since.

This is due to a stress fracture in his back – first revealed in August by Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill – meaning he has so far sat out of 11 games for Liverpool and four for his national team.

Earlier this month, Jurgen Klopp explained that Bradley was “on the way back” and had returned to running, but added that he would still “need a bit of time.”

O’Neill has now admitted Bradley is “touch and go” for Northern Ireland’s final Euro 2024 qualifiers against Finland and Denmark next month.

“If you look at Conor Bradley, he’s only played three games for us in this campaign and that’s probably all he will play if I’m honest,” he told reporters.

“November will be very touch and go for Conor…that makes it difficult.”

Conor Bradley wants to take the next step with Northern Ireland after impressing on loan at Bolton (Niall Carson/PA)

O’Neill was speaking before Northern Ireland’s 1-0 defeat to Slovakia, which did little to impact their standing as fifth in Group H.

They have won only two of their eight qualifiers so far, both of which have come against the world’s lowest-ranked nation San Marino, losing the remaining six.

That means they can no longer qualify for next summer’s tournament, with Bradley instead forming part of the future for Northern Ireland.

Being a doubt for clashes on November 17 and 20 suggests the youngster is not expected back in full training until towards the end of next month.

Liverpool registered Bradley on List B for their Europa League squad, but as it stands he could only realistically target the final group game at Union SG on December 14.