Speaking at his pre-Plymouth Argyle press conference, Jurgen Klopp provided a fitness update on Philippe Coutinho, Daniel Sturridge, Joel Matip and James Milner.
Liverpool have been lucky with injuries this season and have seen a number of starting players pick up injuries, but it’s a testament to the balance of the squad that the Reds remain second on the log in spite of continuing fitness issues.
One of the club’s most infamous players Daniel Sturridge returned to full training yesterday. The striker had not trained since Monday after limping off against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light. Many feared he was facing yet another lengthy lay-off but his return to training will be a boost to the morale of the side with Sadio Mane at the Africa Cup of Nations.
On Sturridge, Klopp said, “He [Sturridge] hasn’t trained until now. Probably today [he will train.” This update was provided yesterday and Sturridge was pictured in a training session down at Melwood alongside Philippe Coutinho.
Philippe Coutinho also returned to full team training yesterday and his return to the Liverpool starting XI will be a massive boost to any chances of the Reds catching Chelsea at the top of the Premier League.
Although Klopp’s side have coped without Coutinho since the Brazilian injured ankle ligaments in November, there is no disputing that Liverpool are a better side with the former Inter Milan player in the side.
When quizzed about Coutinho, Klopp replied, “[He] is in a very good way but not for the weekend,” before adding that the same goes for Joel Matip. The Cameroonian spoke out about his injury this week and it shed some light on where he is on his road to recovery.
James Milner picked up a knock against Sunderland and was withdrawn as a precaution, with Alberto Moreno coming back into the side for 45 minutes at the Stadium of Light.
Klopp described him as being “better” and will be rested for tomorrow’s third round FA Cup tie against Plymouth Argyle but should be fit enough to play against Southampton in the EFL Cup semi-final on Wednesday.
All in all, there is not much that can be complained about from a Liverpool perspective as far as injuries go. All of the players who have been missing recently are set to return and heading into to the most important part of the season, Jurgen Klopp should have a full squad to choose from – bar the absence of Sadio Mane but he will be back next month.
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