Liverpool defender Joel Matip will have to be assessed for fitness before Sunday’s crucial Premier League clash with Manchester United, says manager Jurgen Klopp.
Centre-back Matip has not played since the draw with West Brom on December 27 due to an adductor problem, one of several Liverpool first-team players afflicted by injury this season.
The German is back in training and could be fit for the top-of-the-table encounter, however, Klopp stopped short of giving a definitive answer on whether Matip will be involved.
Liverpool have been particularly stretched in central defence this season, with Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez long-term absentees. With Matip also out, midfielder and captain Jordan Henderson was forced into central defence for the 1-0 defeat to Southampton.
Klopp is keen to get his skipper back into the midfield engine room, but not at the expense of rushing players back too soon after injury.
Speaking at his pre-match press conference on Friday, Klopp said: “Joel is close. Does it now make sense to throw him into a game with one or two sessions, which he didn’t do yet, but today and tomorrow he might be involved?