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Boost for Liverpool as Matip returns to training but Klopp says Jota is still 'a few weeks' away

14:04 GMT 20/01/2021
Joel Matip Liverpool 2020
The Reds defender could be available for selection against Burnley after recovering from a groin injury

Liverpool have been handed a boost with Joel Matip returning to training after three weeks on the sidelines, but Jurgen Klopp has also revealed that Diogo Jota is still a "few weeks" away from full fitness.

Matip has been out of action since picking up a groin injury during Liverpool's 1-1 draw with West Brom at Anfield on December 27.

The 29-year-old missed subsequent Premier League fixtures against Newcastle, Southampton and Manchester United along with the FA Cup third-round tie against Aston Villa, but he could be available for selection again when the Reds play host to Burnley on Thursday.

Klopp delivered an update on Matip's recovery at a pre-match press conference, telling reporters: "Joel is in full training, and now we have to make a decision. We will see tomorrow."

The Liverpool boss was unable to give more good news with regards to Jota's rehabilitation though, with the £41 million ($56m) summer signing still working his way back from a serious knee issue.

"Diogo is still a few weeks away. He needs time," said Klopp.

The reigning Premier League champions have suffered an alarming dip in form in recent weeks as Matip's absence has left Klopp desperately short on options in central defence.

The German head coach was forced to pair Fabinho and Jordan Henderson in the heart of the defence against Southampton and United, with first-choice duo Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez also still missing through respective long-term injuries.

Liverpool lost against the Saints before being held to a 0-0 draw by the Red Devils which extended their recent winless run to four top-flight matches, but Klopp took plenty of positives from their latest outing at Anfield.

"Our situation is not a catastrophe, it's just not perfect. And I saw a lot of good signs in the Man United game," he said. "But because we didn't win, nobody was interested."

The Reds, who are now four points behind league leaders Leicester City, are currently enduring their worst scoreless streak since 2005, with Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane all struggling to deliver the goods in the final third.

However, Klopp insists the burden of putting the ball in the back of the net should be shared among the entire squad, as he added when asked to address his front three's ongoing drought: "Of course it's about the whole team, no doubt. The boys themselves know that goals are not flying in. We just have to work on it.

"[John] Stones, a week ago he scored his first goal for [Manchester] City, then the next game he scores twice!"