Jurgen Klopp has confirmed that Joel Matip will miss the ‘rest of the season’ after the Liverpool defender picked up an ankle ligament injury during the 3-1 win at Tottenham last week.
The Cameroonian has struggled with a succession of injuries over the past two campaigns and will now face a significant spell on the sidelines, the centre-back joining Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez amongst the club’s long-term absentees.
— Everton (@Everton) February 2, 2021
The absence of the trio means that each of the three senior centre-backs that started the season for Liverpool are now out for the majority of the season at least, though the Reds moved to bolster their options with the deadline day signings of defensive duo Ben Davies and Ozan Kabak from Preston and Schalke respectively.
Klopp has confirmed the extent of Matip’s injury following an initial assessment, in what is the latest centre-back injury blow to the Premier League champions.
“Unfortunately, we found out now after everybody looked at it that Joel will be out for the rest of the season,” Klopp told a press conference ahead of tomorrow’s clash with Brighton at Anfield.
“But he will be ready for the start of the next pre-season and finally everything will be sorted.”
Klopp revealed that the 29-year-old has been forced to play through injuries and sacrifice his own fitness this season given the Reds’ lack of cover at centre-back, admitting Matip attempted to play through the problem during the win over Spurs.
“In the end, we have to admit that he probably did that,” Klopp continued.
“The situation is just, the season started and Joel was injured when the season started, unfortunately. We should not forget that at Schalke when he was there he played pretty much all the time completely through, he never had something.
“Then he was unlucky with a Koulibaly challenge against Napoli in the last second, in the Everton game kind of things, a little bit with the foot here and there. If something started and then the situation is like our situation – that nobody can really wait because of our situation with Virgil out and Joe out – we always had to try to find the first moment when he is able to play again.
“It was really unlucky because it was a brilliant challenge he made actually, he saved our life in that moment in the Tottenham game when he won the challenge against Son.
“But he injured his ankle and played the game on and now is out for the season, so you can imagine how much he tried to stay on the pitch and tried to help us.
“We will wait for him. He has now the rest of this season, then the summer, then the pre-season to get ready again and he will be ready again.”