Liverpool’s Naby Keita will miss the rest of the season after picking up a serious adductor injury in The Reds’ 3-0 defeat at Barcelona during the week.
Reds boss Jurgen Klopp confirmed the news to reporters today in his pre-Newcastle press conference. This also means bad news for Guinea as it looks like Keita is also at risk of missing out on this summer’s African Cup of Nations tournament in Egypt.
Keita had to leave the field at the Camp Nou with just 24 minutes played on Wednesday night. It appears the injury was caused by a dangerous tackle from Barcelona’s Croatian midfielder, Ivan Rakitic, earlier in the game.
When asked about Keita’s injury, Klopp said:
“It was really unlucky. Bad news, he has a high-grade adductor injury; the tendon is ruptured, which keeps him out for at least two months.
“Bad news for us obviously, but bad news for Guinea as well because the Africa Cup of Nations is coming up.
“He was in a really good moment – a really, really good moment – but it happened, that’s how football and life sometimes are. It’s not too nice, but it’s very serious.”
Klopp said the Liverpool staff will now focus on keeping Keita positive in the aftermath of such bad news.
“I’m sure he’s not in the best moment but he’s OK.
“I think there are two things – a very interesting part of the season and he is not part of [it], that’s one thing.
“On the other hand, I don’t think Guinea are a regular starter for the Africa Cup of Nations, so I’m sure that was a big, big target for him as well.
“Of course, he is not in a good moment, but that’s the moment when you have to help the players and we will try everything we can.”
When asked about the likelihood of Roberto Firmino returning to the starting lineup for the Newcastle game, Klopp played his cards very close to his chest.
“We will see, we will see,” was his response.
The Naby Keita news comes as a huge blow as the former RB Leipzig player was just settling into his stride in The Reds’ starting eleven. Now, Liverpool’s only hope is that a decent pre-season regime will have the club’s number 8 fit and raring to go for the 2019/20 season in August.
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