Liverpool boss Jürgen Klopp confirmed that James Milner’s injury could be a lengthy one following The Reds’ 3-1 defeat at Leicester on Saturday.
A crazy seven-minute spell late in the game at the King Power Stadium turned Liverpool’s 1-0 lead into a 3-1 deficit. Mohamed Salah had put Klopp’s men in front with a well-taken finish after some sublime play from Roberto Firmino to provide the assist. Leicester bounced back to win through goals from James Maddison, Jamie Vardy and Harvey Barnes.
James Milner lasted only 16 minutes, however, with the veteran midfielder forced off through injury to be replaced by Thiago Alcântara.
When speaking to the BBC after the defeat, Klopp was asked about Milner’s injury:
“Hamstring, I think. That’s what he said. He felt only a little bit but he didn’t want to take the risk, we didn’t want to take the risk, so we took him off.
“We’ll see how it develops, but yeah, hamstring.”
Any hamstring injury is likely to see Milner out of action for at least a couple of weeks. We’re growing kind of immune to bad injury news this season as Reds fans, though, aren’t we?
Liverpool are still without Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez while Joël Matip is out for the remainder of the season. Amazingly, Ben Davies, just signed from Preston, is now injured too. The centre-half was not in the squad for Saturday’s game having picked up a “little knock”, according to Klopp.
Diogo Jota and Naby Keïta have both also been missing since December due to injuries.
Last week, Klopp issued updates via Liverpoolfc.com on Keïta and Jota’s rehabilitation progress. Regarding Keïta, he said:
“It was a hamstring, a slightly bigger one.
“He is back on the pitch but not with the team yet.
“He is in individual training sessions – hard training sessions. It is the final stages of his rehab, but [he is] still not there.”
About Jota, Klopp mentioned that the forward is only a few weeks away from a potential return to action:
“Diogo is close, but not as close as Naby, for example.
“He is on the pitch as well, individual sessions, not the same intensity as you can imagine after a longer time. In rehab, you have to train really intensely before you can go back to team training.
“Diogo [will be] two or three weeks, maybe. Probably the medical department hits me now, but I think that’s kind of possible, back in full training and then we will see how long it takes.”
Liverpool must now try to salvage a top-four finish to guarantee Champions League football next season. The Reds are also still in this season’s iteration of Europe’s premier football competition and play RB Leipzig on Tuesday in Budapest, Hungary (venue rearranged due to COVID restrictions on travel into Germany).
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