Liverpool face an anxious wait to discover the extent of Adam Lallana’s hamstring injury after the midfielder’s season from hell took another turn for the worse.
Lallana was on the field for just five minutes as the Reds won 2-1 at Crystal Palace on Saturday, replacing Gini Wijnaldum as a second-half substitute but collapsing in a heap shortly after his introduction.
The England midfielder left Selhurst Park on crutches, amid fears he faces another lengthy lay-off. That would be a dagger blow to the 29-year-old, who has seen his campaign ruined by injuries already.
Lallana did not play until November having suffered a serious thigh injury in pre-season, and then suffered a further setback after one substitute appearance.
He has managed to start three games since, but Jurgen Klopp told his post-match press conference that the latest problem could be a bad one.
“I’ve not spoken to him, but I’ve seen him and it is not good,” Klopp said. “We don’t know exactly what he has but from the first moment I saw him go down it looked like something really serious. It looks like something with the muscle, we can’t make any further assessments so far. We will do that as quick as possible.
“He’s our mate, our boy, our player. He’s having a difficult season already, and maybe one of the biggest achievements of this team is that they could play a season like they have played so far without Adam Lallana – I never would have thought that was possible. We are all desperately waiting for him, and to see him come back step by step and then suffer again, it is a big, big blow for us.
“We hope it won’t be that serious. If it is only one week then that’s nothing, if it is longer then it is something. It is too early for that, it is just not good.”
Longer term, there will be fears for his place in England’s World Cup party, with Gareth Southgate only around seven weeks away from naming his squad for the tournament. Lallana appeared as a substitute in the friendly draw with Italy on Tuesday, but another lay-off would do little to improve his claims for a place.
Liverpool, at least, were able to celebrate victory in south London, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah securing a second-half turnaround and a result which cements their place in the top four. They sit 11 points ahead of fifth-placed Chelsea, who take on Tottenham at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.