Football

Jurgen Klopp confirms Joel Matip’s return from injury is imminent


Joel Matip has had an injury-hampered season with Liverpool so far (Picture: Getty Images)

Joel Matip missed Liverpool’s clash with Manchester United on Sunday through injury, but Jurgen Klopp expects the defender to be back in full training from Monday.

The Cameroon international has not featured this month thanks to a groin injury. the latest in a string of minor problems that have kept him out of the Liverpool team this season.

His last appearance came on 27 December in the 1-1 draw with West Brom, when he limped off on the hour-mark, replaced by Rhys Williams.

There had been hope that the 29-year-old would return in time for the blockbuster encounter with the Red Devils this weekend, but he did not quite make it.

The centre-back has been in training, but is not up to full speed yet, as confirmed by Klopp ahead of the match at Anfield.

However, the German expects Matip to be in full training again at the next session and should be available when the Reds host Burnley on Thursday 21 January in the Premier League.

‘Joel could [only do] part of the sessions since Friday, now it’s Sunday, so that’s not enough,’ Klopp told Sky Sports.

‘But from tomorrow on he will train normally, so then hopefully everything will be fine. That’s why Hendo [Jordan Henderson] plays there again.’

Matip’s struggles have seen him make just eight Premier League appearances this season, despite the serious injuries to Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez, leaving Klopp with serious headaches at centre-back.

Henderson has been drafted in to play alongside Fabinho in central defence, despite both men being midfielders by trade.

Youngsters Rhys Williams and Nat Phillips have also played at centre-back this season, but Klopp is relying on the more experienced midfielders to fill in.

Gomez and Van Dijk remain likely to miss the entire season, or at least the vast majority of it, with serious knee injuries. Klopp has also been missing Naby Keita, Diogo Jota and Kostas Tsimikas, who all remain out.


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