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Jurgen Klopp hopeful over fitness of Jordan Henderson and Thiago Alcantara

Jurgen Klopp hopeful over fitness of Jordan Henderson and Thiago Alcantara as Liverpool’s injury woes continue after losing both Naby Keita and Xherdan Shaqiri to muscle issues

  • Jurgen Klopp will be hoping for good news on Jordan Henderson and Thiago
  • Liverpool were struck down by yet more injury problems in win over Leicester
  •  Naby Keita was forced off with a hamstring injury as Xherdan Shaqiri missed out

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp will be hoping for some good news on the fitness of midfielders Thiago Alcantara and Jordan Henderson in the next 24 hours after being struck down by yet more injury problems.

The defending Premier League champions underlined their enduring quality and will to win with a comfortable 3-0 victory over Leicester – setting a new club record of 64 unbeaten league matches at home – despite missing 10 members of his first-team squad.

But just as Klopp got Fabinho back from a three-week lay-off with a hamstring problem to play as an emergency centre-back he lost fellow midfielder Naby Keita to a similar injury. 

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp will be hopeful of a return to fitness for Jordan Henderson

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp will be hopeful of a return to fitness for Jordan Henderson

Thiago Alcantara has been missing for over a month after a horror challenge from Richarlison

Thiago Alcantara has been missing for over a month after a horror challenge from Richarlison

And midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri did not even make the squad after it was discovered he had returned from international duty with yet another muscle problem.

With Wednesday’s Champions League visit of Atalanta offering the chance to secure qualification to the knockout phase with two matches still to play Klopp will hope either or both of Henderson, who came back from England duty with a thigh problem, and Thiago, having been sidelined by a knee problem since mid-October, can be available as he is still without Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who has not played after a knee injury in pre-season.

Without him his midfield options look fairly slim as, with James Milner filling in at right-back for the injured Trent Alexander-Arnold, 19-year-old academy graduate Leighton Clarkson made his first appearance in a match day squad against the Foxes after they learned of Shaqiri’s unavailability. 

Jurgen Klopp has had to contend with a mounting injury list at Liverpool this season

Jurgen Klopp has had to contend with a mounting injury list at Liverpool this season

‘Shaq had a muscle injury with the national team which he didn’t really realise,’ said Klopp.

‘He trained with us, we gave him a day off and then he came back and was involved in the session, but was not fully involved.

‘After that he felt a little bit (of a problem). Then we did a scan and they found he has an injury from five or six days ago.

‘Nobody knew about that, not even Shaq knew about it, but that’s how things sometimes are and so he was not able to be involved.

Mohamed Salah is likely to return to the squad after a negative Covid-19 test having tested positive on international duty with Egypt but in his

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fitness

Liverpool to assess Thiago & Fabinho fitness ahead of Leicester clash but Henderson out

Jurgen Klopp has confirmed that his midfield duo are “close” to a return – but his captain will be missing this weekend

Liverpool will assess the fitness of midfield duo Thiago Alcantara and Fabinho ahead of their Premier League clash with Leicester.

Jurgen Klopp confirmed on Friday that the pair were edging closer to a return to action, but that the Reds would be without captain Jordan Henderson for Sunday’s top-of-the-table fixture.

Thiago has not featured since the Merseyside derby with Everton on October 17, having suffered a knee injury in a challenge with Blues forward Richarlison, while Fabinho has been absent since picking up a knee injury in the win over Sheffield United a week later.

But both players were pictured at the newly-opened AXA Training Centre this week, and Klopp told his pre-match press conference that they would be looked at closely before a decision was made on their involvement against Leicester.

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Henderson, though, will join Trent Alexander-Arnold on the missing list having suffered a groin issue with England during the international break. 

Klopp told reporters: “Hendo will not be available, that’s clear. All the rest, we will see. 

“They are in a good way. They are all closer, but we will see if it’s close enough for the weekend.”

Klopp also discussed the injury suffered by Joe Gomez during training with England, which looks set to keep the 23-year-old out for a large part of the remainder of the campaign.

He said: “It was a tough one. The surgery was successful, and he is already recovering. He’s with his family, so he is in the best possible place, I would say.

“Rehab has started now. We help as much as we can. For the first few days after surgery you feel pretty alone, but if you have the family around, as is the case with Joe, then it’s all good, or as good as possible.”

Liverpool were, at least, boosted by the sight of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who was back training outdoors as he steps up his recovery from the knee injury which has kept him out since August. 

The England international is unlikely to be considered for Sunday’s game, but could make his return to action next month, providing there are no complications.

“Ox is in a good way,” Klopp added. 

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