Liverpool assistant manager Pep Lijnders has provided an injury update on several key players, including Mo Salah and Trent Alexander-Arnold.
The Dutch coach faced the media on Tuesday afternoon ahead of the Reds’ crucial EFL Cup semi-final second leg against Fulham at Craven Cottage.
The Merseyside outfit are missing ten players through injury, while Wataru Endo is on international duty with Japan at the Asian Cup.
Liverpool injury news:
Liverpool confirmed on Monday that the hamstring injury sustained by Mo Salah last Thursday was “worse than first feared” and could sideline him for a whole month. The Egyptian will undergo “intensive rehabilitation” in a bid to return to the Africa Cup of Nations before the tournament ends.
“The only reason why our medical team and their [Egypt’s] medical team decided for him to come back is to give him the best possible chance to be available in the final, if Egypt reaches the final… his expected return to play is between three to four weeks if everything goes smooth and everything goes right,” Lijnders said.
The right-back could return from a knee injury for Sunday’s FA Cup meeting with Norwich City. Ljinders said: “Trent is progressing well through his rehab, working hard – how he is as a guy, knowing how important the next weeks are. But he will back in the end of the week for team training, so hopefully he will be available for the FA Cup.”
The Hungarian midfielder has been nursing a hamstring problem since New Year’s Day, but is targeting a return against Norwich.
“Dom trained yesterday with us, just one small-sided game, one-touch game, but played good, felt good, did some extra work with the sports science team,” Lijnders revealed. “He is ready but tomorrow comes too early for him, so he will be ready for the weekend if nothing goes wrong.”
The left-back, who has been recovering from shoulder surgery since October, will travel with the squad to Craven Cottage for the second leg of their EFL Cup semi-final against Fulham.
“He trained yesterday with the team,” Ljinders confirmed. “It’s now 13 weeks, he had his meeting with the surgeon to make sure that everything is right to go into full contact – it’s clear. So he did a lot of work and really good rehab throughout the last period, so he’s fit in terms of sports science. Now he has to get fit with proper team training.
“So that’s a big, big advantage to have him back. We were waiting for a long time – he’s one of our captains. I just met him in the canteen and he said, ‘Pep, I have my tracksuit with me!’ So he’s pushing himself into the squad, so that’s good. He will travel [to Fulham].”
The midfielder was subbed off during Sunday’s 4-0 win over Bournemouth and could be seen touching his left hamstring. Lijnders revealed that Jones had felt “some tension in his hamstring tendon” during the week, but has been able to train.
“Some small niggles with a lot of games but he is young and acts like a senior. Yesterday he was fine, that is cool,” he said.
The Greek left-back is on the mend after breaking his collarbone during the draw with Arsenal at Anfield last month.
“Kostas is now four weeks after surgery, so he needs probably two more weeks because we need to make sure that the bone is strong and the bone is healed before he goes into first-team training,” Ljinders said.
Thiago Alcantara could return to training next month after undergoing surgery on his hip last May
Stefan Bajcetic is also pencilled in for a February return to training after missing all of the campaign so far. The source of his problem is believed to be an adductor injury he picked up last season.
Ben Doak, who came off the bench against Chelsea on the opening day of the Premier League campaign, tore his lateral meniscus while playing for the U21s in December.
Joel Matip is likely out for the rest of the season after sustaining an injury to his anterior cruciate ligament in December.