LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, September 20, 2023: Liverpool's Joël Matip 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)

Season over? Joel Matip injury update sparks fears he’s played his last game

There are now fears Joel Matip could be out for “several months” with a knee injury, leading to concerns he may have played his last game for Liverpool.

When Matip was forced off with a knee issue in the second half of Sunday’s 4-3 win over Fulham, Jurgen Klopp knew from the “first second” it was a bad one.

But speaking to journalists in his open press conference ahead of the trip to Sheffield United, the manager revealed that his No. 32 was yet to undergo scans.

That will have due been to swelling around Matip’s knee, making it difficult to determine the full extent of the injury.

However, the Times‘ Paul Joyce and the Guardian‘s Andy Hunter have both suggested the defender could be out for “months,” following a new update from Klopp.

Matip’s scan will take place on Wednesday, with Hunter speculating that it is a ligament injury which will see him miss “several months.”

WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 16, 2023: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp speaks with Joël Matip during the FA Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers FC and Liverpool FC at Molineux Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

With it already being December and Matip enduring fitness issues throughout his time at Liverpool, recovery from any serious knee injury could see him cutting it fine for a meaningful return before the end of the campaign.

This is magnified by the fact the 32-year-old’s contract is due to expire in the summer, which could mean he has played his last game for the club.

Of course, that is purely speculation at this stage, and Matip’s rehabilitation could be more straightforward as the group of Virgil van Dijk, Ibrahima Konate, Joe Gomez and Jarell Quansah continues in his stead.

But Klopp was not optimistic in his verdict as he spoke to journalists in the extended section of his press conference.

“When the doctor comes in and says: ‘it doesn’t look great’, [it’s never good]…but we have to wait for the scans and the scan isn’t here yet,” he explained.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Thursday, October 26, 2023: Liverpool's Joël Matip during the UEFA Europa League Group E matchday 3 game between Liverpool FC and Toulouse FC at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“You can imagine it doesn’t look great. It is never good news [when a doctor says that immediately].

“I’ve never had that in all my years where someone says: ‘Oh my God, it’s completely wrong and there’s nothing wrong, he can play tomorrow’. It doesn’t happen.”

If Matip is sidelined for the long term, it could raise the question over whether Liverpool need to dip into the transfer market again in January.

More likely is that Gomez is restored to centre-back with Conor Bradley now back fit at right-back, while Quansah could be given more opportunities after excelling so far.