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LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Thursday, November 30, 2023: Liverpool's substitute Kaide Gordon before the UEFA Europa League Group E match day 5 game between Liverpool FC and LASK at Anfield. Liverpool won 4-0. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Jurgen Klopp details gruelling injury layoff for Kaide Gordon – and plans for him now

Jurgen Klopp has detailed the 19-month injury hell endured by Liverpool winger Kaide Gordon, following the teenager’s return to the first-team setup.

The swift rise enjoyed by Gordon two seasons ago was, sadly, matched by the rapid disappointment of a long-term pelvic injury.

A series of musculoskeletal issues – or in layman’s terms, growing pains – kept the 19-year-old out for over a year-and-a-half before his return for Liverpool U21s earlier this season.

Now he is training with the first team again, and will make the matchday squad for the third time this season when the Reds take on Union SG in the Europa League.

Speaking before that clash, Klopp explained how Gordon’s development had been both a help and a hindrance, with his growth holding him back “two or three times.”

“So we were really unlucky with some of our big, big prospects,” he told reporters.

“We had that problem that they were a little bit too good already for the physical status, let me say it like that.

“So they were that good that we thought they could help us already and everybody went in the right direction, and then the body said ‘no, stop’.

“And that happened to Kaide unfortunately two or three times. It was a really long time out.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, January 9, 2022: Liverpool's Kaide Gordon celebrates after scoring the first equalising goal during the FA Cup 3rd Round match between Liverpool FC and Shrewsbury Town FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Gordon, who played four times for the senior side before his first injury in February 2022, has seemingly not lost a step despite his time out.

That has led to his continued inclusion with the first team, though Klopp would not reveal whether he would be in genuine contention against Union SG.

“And that’s now really cool as well – from the first day back in training, we all realised immediately, ‘ah, that’s what we missed, that’s what we had already’,” he continued.

“So nothing happened really, still a fantastic player, still incredibly young and he is now again around the first team.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, November 29, 2023: Liverpool's Kaide Gordon during a training session at the AXA Training Centre ahead of the UEFA Europa League Group E match between Liverpool FC and LASK. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“We try to give him as much game time as possible with the U21s.

“You know that, I’m really a believer in that we need a strong U21s, they don’t need to be always at the same time on loan everywhere.

“There are different ways to develop talents. And especially after long injuries, you should not think immediately, ‘now he’s fit again and send him out’.

“We have a really good group there together of young boys and some of them we will see [against Union SG], that’s clear.”