Liverpool clearly have a plan for Thiago to return to the team. It’s one that demands patience but it will inevitably pay off.
Thiago will not return for Liverpool on Sunday. The Reds face West Brom at home but will, once again, be without the Spaniard.
Thiago hasn’t played since October 17th, in fact. That came against Everton in Liverpool’s return from the first international break.
An awful ‘tackle’ from Richarlison caught Thiago’s knee late in the game and it didn’t turn out well. He’s been missing every since.
This week saw a milestone in his recovery, though, as he’s back in training. Thiagio is on the brink of his return, then, but Liverpool clearly won’t rush him.
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“Thiago made his first steps back towards team training,” said Jurgen Klopp, per Liverpoolfc.com. “He is not involved in the full session but makes good steps and after, unfortunately, the long time he is out now, we cannot and will not rush it.
“He will not be involved, he has to first be in full training sessions and then we start thinking about it – he is not too far away, I hope.”
The plan is effectively as simple as ‘not rushing’ Thiago. That’s obvious, of course, but there’s more to it.
Everyone wants Thiago back because he’s a superstar that we’ve barely seen. He’s played just 135 minutes since his £20m arrival.
Liverpool are asking everyone to be patient, however. They’re not taking any risks – and that’s patience that will pay off.
We recently wrote about Liverpool marking in the January 17th game against Manchester United as Thiago’s ‘real’ return. And that should be a blueprint here.
There are worries about Thiago’s fitness and they’ll remain all season. That’s just the nature of a knee injury.
So with a player as good as Thiago, Liverpool should be patient and make sure he’s there for the biggest games.
That includes fixtures against title rivals or the deep stages of the Champions League. Make sure Thiago is there for them.
It’s frustrating, of course – we want to see him tear West Brom apart. But there is no rush and these games shouldn’t require him.
It’s the patient approach but if Thiago is there to face Manchester United and play in Champions League quater-finals, it’s all worth waiting for.