Liverpool rocked by Lallana blow as midfielder set for 'months not weeks' on the sidelines

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The 29-year-old will miss blockbuster games against Arsenal and Man City as well as the start of the group phase if the Reds progress in Europe

Liverpool’s ambitions for the new season have suffered a weighty setback, with Adam Lallana ruled out for the opening months of the Premier League campaign with a thigh injury.

The England international sustained the problem against Atletico Madrid in the Audi Cup final, which the Reds lost 5-4 on penalties at the Allianz Arena on Wednesday evening.

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Jurgen Klopp will frustratingly have to plan without a core member of his squad as the Merseysiders attempt to start the domestic season assertively, as well as progress to the Champions League with a play-off tie against Hoffenheim sandwiched between their first three top-flight fixtures.

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Lallana is set to miss the blockbuster league games against Arsenal and Manchester City as well as the first two matchdays of the group phase if Liverpool do advance in Europe.

Beyond August and September, the club will assess the 29-year-old’s rehabilitation in the hope of him returning to action ahead of schedule.

“This is certainly not news we would have wanted," Klopp told the club's official website.

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“Unfortunately, the damage is such that it will likely mean Adam is out for a couple of months not weeks, so I think we can pretty much rule him out of August and September.

“Beyond that we will monitor and wait and see.

"He is a boy with a world-class attitude to everything professionally and he has always come back in good time from injury setbacks since I have been here, so we will see.”

Liverpool had been desperate to bolster their midfield options by signing RB Leipzig's Naby Keita, but saw two bids rejected - the latter of which matched the record for a Bundesliga transfer - with the German side insisting he is not for sale at any price.

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Lallana's injury may further highlight the need to recruit in that department.

Daniel Sturridge, meanwhile, who also hurt in thigh in Munich, will not travel for Liverpool's final pre-season game against Athletic Bilbao in Dublin on Saturday. The striker is hoping to be in contention for the Premier League opener against Watford. 

Philippe Coutinho will also skip the encounter as a precaution due to a sore back.

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