Although Jurgen Klopp has denied suggestions that Joel Matip requires surgery, the Cameroonian’s continued absence is worrying.
When Liverpool signed Matip from Schalke, the centre-back came with a stellar reputation and heaps of experience at the young age of 24, having played nearly 300 games for the Bundesliga side.
There was one issue, however, as the Cameroonian had a recurring ankle injury which plagued his seven years with Schalke. The injury was revealed at Liverpool as early as pre-season when the big man was brought off against Wigan Athletic.
Immediately there were questions marks because pre-season is all about proving your fitness and Liverpool fans were very worried. Alas, little was made of it but the big man had to wait until the third game of the season to make his debut against Tottenham.
There have been questions about whether or not surgery will fix the issue plaguing Matip, but Klopp has come out swiftly to dispell any suggestion that his star centre-back will be going under the knife to solve his injury.
Speaking about Matip’s injury last week, Jurgen Klopp said: “It’s just a case of time.
“There will be no surgery, there is not even a risk of it. It is only about resting the injury or not.
“Try it every day or give it a few days. That is what we already did. Against West Ham it was possible to play but then against Middlesbrough it was not. For Bournemouth, he was involved in the squad and then we made the decision [not to play him].
“It’s in the moment. It is not perfect because we have no time so you can’t say ‘this game isn’t really important or whatever’.”
As much as I respect Klopp’s judgement and that he probably knows more about the injury, the fact that this issue has been bothering Matip for so long might suggest that surgery is the way to go in order to solve the problem in the long run. There’s no point aggravating the injury by trying it out and risking it when it’s known that it is a recurring injury.
Liverpool’s next game, unfortunately, isn’t actually on Boxing Day but is on the 27th of December against Stoke City at Anfield. The hope is that Matip will be fit to play but given how well Dejan Lovren and Ragnar Klavan played against Everton, it isn’t the end of the world if Klopp rests the former Schalke man again – as long as he’s fit to play Manchester City.