Jurgen Klopp expects injured Liverpool midfielder Thiago Alcantara to return to first-team training next week.
Thiago has been injured since the end of February, having seemingly been struggling with a hip issue. With just 12 games of the season remaining, time is running out on a comeback.
But according to Klopp, the 31-year-old isn’t too far away now. Speaking in his pre-Manchester City press conference today, the manager said Thiago is ‘looking good.’
“Thiago’s in a good way, but was not part of team training yet,” said the manager. “If things go well I think he will probably be part of next week’s team training – parts. We will see when he’s back [fully].”
Jurgen also gave an update on Naby Keita, who was reported to have suffered an injury setback whilst away with Guinea.
“Naby is out, he came back with a muscle injury from the national team,” said the boss. “We will see how long it takes. Obviously the season is not too long anymore, there’s a chance Naby comes back but we have to wait a little bit.”
Liverpool still waiting on Thiago
By the sounds of things, we can potentially expect Thiago to be in contention to play against Arsenal, but not before. In the meantime, Liverpool will have to navigate two more difficult games without him.
No problem, you might think. Some of the Reds best displays this season have actually come without the Spaniard.
Somewhat remarkably, that is actually true. Thiago wasn’t on the pitch for recent wins against Everton, Newcastle and Wolves, as well as the 7-0 mauling of Manchester United.
But the difference is that Liverpool had a couple more players who could step into the breach for those games. Since Thiago went down, Stefan Bajcetic and now Keita have both been ruled out.
As a result, Klopp must pick a midfield out of a slightly motley looking crew of players. James Milner started the last game – in the Santiago Bernabeu no less – out of sheer necessity.
Looking through Liverpool’s midfield options, he might well do the same against City tomorrow and Chelsea on Tuesday. Given that Jordan Henderson and Fabinho probably can’t start both of those games as well as the Arsenal clash, the Reds are in a bit of a midfield pickle. Surprise surprise. Fingers crossed Thiago stays on schedule. We need him.
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