Has Liverpool’s squad been smitten by invisible injury lords? You make the call.
It’s always a dark day when James Milner has to leave the pitch with an injury. The Leeds native is a robust player who rarely gets hurt enough to need medical attention but his performance in the FA Cup third round match against Everton was cut short after picking up a muscle injury in the opening minutes. I can’t remember off the top of my head the last time Milner was out for an extended period of time. But it’s also early in the morning in my neck of the woods and the noggin hasn’t warmed up yet.
At his pre-Tottenham press conference, Jürgen Klopp said there is no timeline for Milner’s return. Unfortunately, it’s the same diagnosis for Naby Keita. The medical staff are as yet unsure of the extent of either of the Liverpool midfielder’s muscle injuries. And Klopp isn’t expecting anything from Milner or Keita through at least the next two match weeks.
“James and Naby are not available,” said Klopp. “Both are muscle injuries, different and for different people, so we see how quick they will be.
“We really don’t have to put a timeframe on it because we don’t know it exactly. We will see, we are open and whenever they want to join us again, they can – or when the medical department gives the green light.
“For sure, not for this weekend, not for next week, but then we will see.”
The almost good news for the squad concerns Liverpool’s nearly mended players. Joël Matip is out on the training pitch but still managing his recovery. And Dejan Lovren and Fabinho are close to joining the squad but need a bit more time.
Thankfully for the manager, Xherdan Shaqiri is fully fit and could feature against Spurs, though likely from the bench.
“Joel was not part of all parts of training. He was outside on the pitch, which looked really good, but then he had to do his own stuff again. Yesterday he was part of the first part of training.
“Shaq trained completely normal since he’s in. Dejan and Fabinho we expect to be back next week in full training.
“That’s obviously good. If that’s then early enough for the United game, I don’t know but we will see. They work really hard in the moment and they go really through the paces, so that’s good.
“Clyney is in a good way but not available.”