Jurgen Klopp has revealed that Thiago Alcantara is still “a few weeks” away from making his Liverpool return.
The Spanish midfielder has not featured for the Reds since the Merseyside derby against Everton on October 18, having suffered a knee injury in a challenge from Blues forward Richarlison.
Indeed, since signing from Bayern Munich in September, Thiago has been limited to just two appearances, totalling 135 minutes.
With fans understandably desperate to see the 29-year-old in action, and with the player yet to return to full training, Klopp moved to clarify the situation ahead of Liverpool’s Champions League clash with Ajax.
He told reporters: “So, on that day when Thiago got injured in that challenge in the Everton game, there was another bad injury [Virgil van Dijk’s ruptured anterior cruciate ligament].
“There were two scans, one was really bad news, the other [Thiago’s] was really good news because nothing was broken, nothing was ruptured, but we realise now it was still a massive impact on the knee.
"Everybody thinks because nothing was broken or ruptured that you can go after a few days, but the impact on the knee was that big that it is still not OK. It’s not massive and he trains from time to time – not in the moment – but we realise he has to go through further steps.
“I can’t say exactly when he will be fine, but it will take a few weeks still. That’s how it is.”
Klopp confirmed that James Milner will miss the game with Ajax after suffering a hamstring injury in Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Brighton. Liverpool will make a late check on the fitness of midfielder Naby Keita, but Trent Alexander-Arnold and Xherdan Shaqiri will miss the game.
Alexander-Arnold, though, is closing in on a return having missed the last three matches with a calf problem.
“They are all getting closer, but not close enough for tomorrow,” Klopp said. “With Naby we have to check still, but with the other two they will not be ready.
“Trent looks quite good. Nobody gave the green light so he cannot train with the team, but I saw him today on the pitch doing his rehab stuff outside. That looks good, but it’s not my decision to decide when it is finished.
"I take the players over when I get the green light, and that didn’t happen yet, but from my rather experienced eye, let me say it like this, from what I saw today, it will not be that long any more with Trent.”