Liverpool could be without as many as six players for Sunday's meeting with Aston Villa, but manager Jürgen Klopp is confident of seeing that number drop in the near future.
The Reds were recently hit by the news that forward Sadio Mané has tested positive for COVID-19 and has been forced into self-isolation, and he is not the only player to miss the game because of the virus as midfielder Thiago Alcántara has also tested positive.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Joël Matip and Kostas Tsimikas are all sidelined through injury, joining captain Jordan Henderson on the treatment table, but Klopp confirmed in his press conference that he expects the latter to stake a claim for a return against Villa.
“Hendo will be part of parts of the training," he revealed. "He will start with warming up, maybe some passing, maybe some rondos, we will see as a first step.
“He has absolutely no muscle issues. It is all fine, he is not injured anymore, so now we have to make sure he can make the next step. What that means for the weekend, I don’t know."
Despite his injury, Henderson has been called up to Gareth Southgate's England squad for the upcoming fixtures against Wales, Belgium and Denmark, but Klopp is confident his midfielder will be given the chance to ease himself back into action.
“I was in close contact with Gareth Southgate and it is clear he will use the time with the national team for getting match fit because Hendo had four or five days of normal pre-season before he played the first game for us because of the situation we were in," he added. "Then played against Chelsea and got this little injury, which was really not serious.
“He is now working on his physical things for a few days already, but now more football specific, which is important with us and then with the national team. He will have minutes for England, I think, which is then a proper win/win situation and I am really happy about that.”
After the international break, Henderson, Thiago and Mané are all expected to be available, and there are hopes that Matip, Tsimikas and Oxlade-Chamberlain may be ready to make their returns as well.
Source : 90min