Jurgen Klopp provided an injury update on Liverpool club-captain Jordan Henderson after the skipper was absent during the Reds’ 7-2 victory over Blackpool at Anfield this afternoon.
Henderson, 30, is still yet to feature for Liverpool following a knee injury against Brighton back in July. The midfielder has been absent from all three of the club’s pre-season friendlies as well as the Community Shield defeat to Arsenal last weekend.
The England international is reportedly on course to step up full sessions with the first-team ahead of the Premier League champions’ curtain-raiser against Leeds United next Saturday.
Henderson had participated in first-team training throughout the course of last week but manager Klopp couldn’t risk his captain potetnitally sustaining another knock so close to the opening PL match of the season.
Speaking with Liverpool’s official website, Klopp said: “Obviously Hendo was desperate to play a few minutes today as well, but it makes no real sense because he had to do an important session today for him,” Klopp told Liverpoolfc.com before kick-off with Blackpool.
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“If he would have played today, 10 minutes or so would have probably been OK. But that makes no sense. So that was not possible, but he trained in big parts of this week and will probably join full team training next Tuesday.
“Timing-wise, not perfect that he cannot play today, but can train a few days later fully. But that’s how it is.
“We will see how he develops, [there are] a few days until Leeds, how the boys come back from the national teams. A lot of open questions still, but a few hopefully we can answer today.”
Klopp full of praise for Koumetio
Liverpool’s impressive victory also represented potentially another significant moment for teenager Billy Koumetio who was handed his first start for the first team following an outstanding pre-season showing.
The 17-year-old centre back was given the nod by his manager to partner the returning Joel Matip which could have positive ramification to the youngster’s involvement next season given the Reds are still a centre back short following the departure of Dejan Lovren.
Koumetio was also included in Liverpool’s squad for their Community Shield clash with Arsenal last weekend. Klopp opted to include the France under-18 international ahead of fellow centre backs Nat Phillips, Sepp van den Berg and Ki-Jana Hoever.
His increasing involvement with the first-team suggests that Klopp could be seriously considering the defender as a serious option for his fourth choice centre back this season.
Following his inaugural start for the first-team, Klopp couldn’t hide his pride for Koumetio who has been one of the breakthrough talents after the conclusion of pre-season.
“Billy so far played an exceptional pre-season; 17 years old, still growing, still learning every day, really nice, so good to give him the opportunity to play in a game like this”, Klopp added.
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