Liverpool midfielder Fabinho is expected to return to action after the November international break, after picking up a hamstring injury in the midweek UEFA Champions League game against FC Midtjylland. These are testing times for Jurgen Klopp, who is already missing defensive stalwart Virgil van Dijk in his team.
The Dutchman was virtually ruled out for the rest of the season after picking up an ACL injury against Everton in the Premier League. Klopp was forced to opt for Fabinho alongside Joe Gomez in the heart of his defense, and the pair surprised everyone by gelling together quickly.
With Gomez, the Brazilian helped Liverpool earn a 1-0 win in the first game of the UEFA Champions League against Ajax. He impressed once again with the Englishman at the weekend, as the Reds won 2-1 against Sheffield United.
Klopp put the two men together in his defense for the third game in a row against the Danish side in Liverpool’s UEFA Champions League midweek game, but disaster struck as the Brazilian picked up a hamstring injury and had to be replaced after just 30 minutes into the game.
Liverpool could be without Fabinho for the next three games
Fabinho was replaced by Rhys Williams who helped Liverpool see out a 2-0 victory. After the game, the German manager revealed that the Brazilian offered to play through the pain.
He felt his hamstring, and that's not good. He said he could have played on but no sprints, which doesn't help. We're doing really well but it's a shock for a team because now we have to sort that injury.
Fabinho underwent a scan on Wednesday and the initial results will inject much-needed hope into the Liverpool faithful. The injury is not a grade-three hamstring tear as was initially feared and with proper rest and recovery, the Brazilian could make his return to the team after the international break in November.
During this time, Fabinho is expected to miss Liverpool’s games against West Ham United, Atalanta in the Champions League as well as the enticing battle with Manchester City just before the November break. That leaves the Reds seriously short at the back but Klopp has ruled out a rushed return from injury for Joel Matip against the Hammers.
If it was one game at the end of the season, we could probably [use Matip]. But we have a game three days later. The players need a proper build-up.
Instead, Matip could partner Gomez against Atalanta, with youngster Rhys Williams expected to get his Premier League debut against West Ham. Other options include Nathaniel Phillips and Sepp van der Berg, both of whom are behind the 19-year-old in the pecking order at Liverpool. The Red could also be tempted to use either Jordan Henderson or Georginio Wijnaldum alongside Gomez.Published 29 Oct 2020, 23:49 IST