Jordan Henderson will not return for Liverpool until after the September international break due to a hamstring injury, but Thiago Alcantara is back for the Reds ahead of their Champions League clash at Napoli on Wednesday.
Reds captain Henderson picked up the setback in Liverpool’s 2-1 victory over Newcastle last week and missed Sunday’s Merseyside derby draw with Everton on Saturday.
Klopp now faces another midfield crisis with Curtis Jones and Fabio Carvalho ruled out with fresh setbacks, while new signing Arthur Melo is not ready to start yet ahead of their trip to Naples.
“Thiago is back in training, it’s second day today which means he is ready [for Napoli]. For how long? We’ll see,” Klopp told his pre-match press conference for their Champions League opener. “And Jordan, the result of the scan, it will be after the international break, I think.
“Arthur needs just football and training. That’s how it is. He wasn’t in team training for a while at Juventus so he needs that. Can he play minutes? Can he play a full game? No. Because he needs to get used to competition.
“It’s not that the Champions League is less competitive level than the Premier League. He’s doing well, he’s doing his all in training and then we’ll see when we can use him.”
Meanwhile, Liverpool academy product Jones has suffered a recurrence of the stress fracture that kept him out at the start of the season, while Carvalho picked up a dead leg against Everton and is a doubt for this weekend’s Premier League match with Wolves as well. Both players have remained in Liverpool while the rest of the first team travel to Naples.
“Curtis, when he was out previously, he had a stress reaction in the previous bone and was absolutely fine,” added Klopp. “He trained twice but did it again. It’s not as bad enough as the first time, but it’s bad to keep him out.
“Fabio has a dead leg, he’s walking now normal but he has no chance to train until now. We hope every day he will get better for the weekend, but I’m not 100 per cent sure.”
Who is missing in Liverpool’s midfield?
Henderson is now ruled out until after the September international break that takes place at the end of the month.
That would see the Liverpool captain miss their first two Champions League matches at Napoli and at home to Ajax, as well as their Premier League matches at home to Wolves and away at Chelsea.
Henderson would therefore be a doubt for England’s final Nations League matches against Italy and Germany, which are the team’s final matches before the World Cup.
Liverpool play Brighton, Rangers and Arsenal in their first three matches after the September international break.
Liverpool’s next four games
- September 7: Napoli (A), Champions League
- September 10: Wolves (H), Premier League
- September 13: Ajax (H), Champions League
- September 18: Chelsea (A), Premier League
- September 19: International break
Thiago Alcantara is back in Liverpool training after a four-week spell on the treatment table.
The Spain international injured his hamstring in the opening weekend draw with Fulham and has not played since. But Klopp confirmed he will be ready for selection against Napoli on Wednesday.
Fabio Carvalho injured his knee during the Merseyside derby draw with Liverpool and Klopp confirmed he picked up a “dead leg in the muscle above the knee”.
Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain have both been branded long-term absentees by Klopp, who says the midfield pair will be out for a “while”.
Keita returned to the Liverpool bench for their home draw with Crystal Palace on August 15 but Klopp announced before their Monday Night Football loss to Manchester United that the midfielder had a “setback”.
Oxlade-Chamberlain picked up a pre-season injury in a friendly against Crystal Palace in Singapore.
Klopp rages at journalist over city safety question
Klopp also hit out at an Italian journalist for asking him whether he felt Naples was a safe city for Liverpool fans to travel in.
The reporter made reference to a number of tweets put out by the Liverpool social media accounts giving advice to travelling fans on the trip, including one from the club’s managing director Andy Hughes which said the away game can be a “daunting prospect” and Liverpool fans have endured “a variety of problems” when visiting the city in the past.
Liverpool’s fan services account also asked supporters to stay in their hotels to eat and drink and warned against wearing fan colours. The club also instructed fans to avoid the city centre.
“That’s an embarrassing question from you. You want to create headlines, but I don’t understand it,” an angry Klopp told the reporter. “Are you from Napoli? Do you think it’s a dangerous city? I don’t live a normal life in Napoli, I am protected here and go to the hotel and you’re asking me if it’s dangerous.
“You know exactly what you’re talking about, you know some supporters meet others then something can happen. That’s nothing to do with the city. I’m not here to create headlines for you and it’s clear you don’t know what to ask me.
“I would love it if I go to the hotel and just concentrate on the game tomorrow and it looks like you don’t know how to ask me a normal question.”