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Liverpool handed Lovren fitness boost

Liverpool have been handed a fitness boost after a scan revealed Dejan Lovren hasn't suffered knee ligament damage.

The Croatia international had to be stretchered off after 79 minutes of the 2-2 draw with West Brom on Sunday following a strong tackle from Craig Gardner.

Lovren required five stitches to a deep cut on his right knee, while he also suffered major bruising and swelling around the area, though Reds boss Jurgen Klopp felt the tackle was a fair one.

A statement from the Croatian Football Federation said: "Loveren is [in the care of] Liverpool's medical service, with which the medical service of the Croatian team, led by prof Dr. Nemec was in contact.

"Magnetic resonance imaging [has] shown that there is no structural damage.

"[The] Croatian centre-back is therefore anticipated to return to sports activities in two to three weeks."

Lovren has already sat out games this season after sustaining a second degree ankle distortion in the Capital One Cup shootout win over Carlisle in September.

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Klopp has had little luck on the injury front since arriving at Anfield in October. In the German’s first week on Merseyside, Joe Gomez and Danny Ings were ruled out for the rest of the season after suffering anterior cruciate ligament damage.

Mamadou Sakho then picked up a knee problem in the 2-1 defeat to Crystal Palace. He has been unavailable for five weeks, but should be back in contention for Sunday’s encounter at Watford.

Daniel Sturridge has had three separate injuries in the same period: a knee problem, discomfort in his foot and a hamstring strain. It is unclear when he will be back in the fold. 

Philippe Coutinho, Jordon Ibe, Christian Benteke, Kolo Toure, Jose Enrique, Jordan Rossiter and James Milner have all also missed games under Klopp.

Club captain Jordan Henderson was on the treament table prior to Klopp succeeding Brendan Rodgers, but the midfielder has now made two consecutive starts to boost the Anfield midfield.