Liverpool assistant, Pep Lijnders, is optimistic about the return of several key players ahead of schedule.
He anticipates the return of Ryan Gravenberch, Alexis Mac Allister, and Diogo Jota. Fortunately, Gravenberch’s recent absence was attributed to fatigue rather than a more serious injury.
Liverpool are currently grappling with numerous injury setbacks. These concerns come at a pivotal time, as they are set to face Newcastle United in the Carabao Cup quarter-final on Wednesday. Following this, they will confront Premier League leaders, Arsenal, at Anfield on Saturday.
Alexis Mac Allister has been sidelined for the past three matches due to a knee problem. Meanwhile, Diogo Jota is dealing with a hamstring injury. Additionally, the team has faced the long-term absence of Joel Matip, who sustained an ACL tear. Players like Thiago and Stefan Bajcetic have also been unavailable.
Despite the challenges, Lijnders remains hopeful. He believes that several of Liverpool’s injured players are nearing a return. Notably, Gravenberch, who recently exited a match against Manchester United due to injury, is expected to be ready to play against Arsenal.
“We thought there was really something, he [Gravenberch] came off during the game and you saw immediately when he came off what that did to the team as well, he was playing really well,’ Lijnders told Liverpool’s website.
“Especially against these man-marking sides he plays unbelievable. But he had a scan and it’s only DOMS [delayed onset muscle soreness], which is fatigue, so that’s a really good thing.
“He will train hopefully today, let’s see where he is. We have to be careful of course because that’s a sign. So that’s a good one.”
When questioned about the possibility of Gravenberch playing against Newcastle on Wednesday, the Liverpool assistant clarified:
“It’s like this, if a player is fatigued and he comes off there is something, but there’s no muscle tear, nothing in the muscle – but the muscle is fatigued, because he feels something.
“So we have to be careful. But as I said before, he can train hopefully today and then we have to judge it, but especially he has to judge it himself.
“I can’t see why he would not be available for the next week, so let’s see tomorrow. The games come too quick!”
Lijnders expressed optimism about Mac Allister and Jota, but they won’t be available for the Arsenal match. “Alexis is progressing well, he doesn’t have pain anymore, which is a good thing. It was worse than we first thought, but he is progressing well, no pain. Let’s see if we can progress him.
“Diogo is doing ball work on the pitch so that is getting closer and closer. But always with hamstring injuries you have to be careful, we always say when they come back give them another two or three days for sure.”
When asked about Mac Allister’s return timeline, Lijnders responded: “It will go into the new year but that could be possible, and we play on 1 January so let’s see.”
In other Liverpool news, Liverpool Draw with Man Utd Highlights Issues with ‘Special’ Player