Jurgen Klopp has said Fabinho believes he could have played despite picking up a suspected hamstring injury during Tuesday night’s Champions League win over Midtjylland. However, even the Liverpool manager admitted that the problem now was ‘the last thing’ we needed.
The full extent of the matter will be learned in due course after the scan, but it was enough for Fabinho to withdraw from the game after just half an hour.
Fabinho could only play for half an hour before being taken off/Michael Regan/Getty Images
“He felt his hamstring, and it’s not good,” Klopp was quoted as saying by BBC Sport.
“He said he could play but no sprint, which doesn’t help. We’ll see, we’ll know more after the scan but clearly it’s not good.
“We’ve been doing really well but it’s a shock for the team because now we have to get over this injury.”
Fabinho was already filling in as emergency cover for Virgil van Dijk, who could miss the rest of the season with ACL damage. Joel Matip is also missing through injury and Liverpool are down to the bare bones, with 23-year-old Joe Gomez the only senior centre-back available.
Matip is expected to be fit in time for Liverpool’s next game against West Ham on Saturday, but Klopp is concerned about taking someone back with only minimal training if he is fit enough. If not, given the possibility of relapse or further problems.
“If it was a game at the end of the season, we could probably make one or the other game. But we have a game three days later. The players need a proper build-up,” he said in relation to Matip.
Fabinho was recruiting for Virgil van Dijk/LAURENCE GRIFITHS/Getty Images
Rhys Williams, who featured prominently in the National League North on loan last season, has been called into action. The home-grown 19-year-old replaced Fabinho and now has two Champions League appearances under his belt, as well as two Carabao Cup appearances.
The other centre-backs available to Klopp are 23-year-old Nate Phillips, who has made 11 first-team appearances and spent last season on loan with Stuttgart in Germany’s second tier, and Dutch teenager Sepp van den Berg, who Four players have played. First team games for Liverpool last season.
Midfielder Jordan Henderson was withdrawn at half-time against Midtjylland, but Klopp explained it was a predetermined decision to manage his fitness amid a busy schedule.
19-year-old Rhys Williams is thrust into the spotlight / Poll / Getty Images
“Hindu said at half-time that he wanted to play…in those moments you have to be strong with yourself because I didn’t want to lose him,” Klopp explained via Liverpool’s official website.
“Before the game I decided we had to split it – 45 and 45. We switched, Guinea. [Wijnaldum] Really well done and for both I think it helped that they only scored 45 runs.
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