SOUVENIR PROGRAMME

Good news on Ryan Gravenberch and Diogo Jota injuries – with striker “close”

Liverpool have been boosted by positive news on injuries to Ryan Gravenberch and Diogo Jota, with the Dutchman already in contention against West Ham.

The Reds prepare to host West Ham in the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup on Wednesday night, with a host of injuries blighting the squad.

Joel Matip (ACL), Andy Robertson (shoulder), Thiago (hip), Stefan Bajcetic (calf) and Ben Doak (knee) remain long-term absentees, while Mac Allister is also sidelined until the New Year.

But speaking ahead of the Anfield tie, assistant manager Pepijn Lijnders confirmed “really good” news on Gravenberch, who has avoided a hamstring injury.

“He’s good. It happens not often that you send the player to a scan and that everything comes out clear,” he told reporters.

“Normally when a player feels something and he goes for a scan, they always find something.

“It was only DOMS, so he’s fatigued – extra fatigued, that means – so we have to be careful.

“But I think today there’s a possibility he can train, so that’s really, really good news.

“Especially because he played well, eh? Especially against man-marking sides, he is really helpful to keep the ball.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Thursday, November 30, 2023: Liverpool's Ryan Gravenberch during the UEFA Europa League Group E matchday 5 game between Liverpool FC and LASK at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Asked if he could be involved against West Ham, Lijnders said: “It’s like this, if a player is fatigued and he comes off, there is something.

“But there’s no muscle tear, there’s nothing in the muscle – but the muscle is fatigued, because he feels something.

“We have to be careful, but he can train hopefully today, and we have to judge it, but especially he has to judge himself.

“I can’t see why he would not be available for the next week, but let’s see tomorrow. The games come too quick!”

Lijnders was also asked about the timeframe for Jota’s return, with the Portuguese having been sidelined since the 1-1 draw with Man City due to a hamstring injury.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, September 20, 2023: Liverpool's Diogo Jota during a training session at the AXA Training Centre ahead of the UEFA Europa League Group E match between LASK and Liverpool FC. (Pic by Andrew Yeats/Propaganda)

“He’s doing ball work outside, so he’s getting better and better,” he said.

“But always with the hamstrings, it’s tricky, you always want to give it two or three days more.

“Because then you’re at least sure, especially with the re-injuries before, so we will be careful with him.

“But he’s close, yeah.”

The hope will be, then, that Jota could make his comeback before the end of the year, with a lack of goals from Jurgen Klopp‘s other senior forwards.

Meanwhile, Gravenberch could be expected to start when Arsenal head to Anfield on Saturday evening, with Klopp likely to name a strong, but rotated, side in the cup.