Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has been dealt an untimely blow with the news that Joel Matip will miss the rest of the season with a thigh injury.
The 26-year-old defender took a knock in the 2-1 win at Crystal Palace on Saturday, but played on after thinking the contact had left him with just a dead leg.
But subsequent scans have revealed the extent of the damage, with the Reds announcing that Matip will undergo surgery and is only expected to return in pre-season.
The injury couldn’t have come at a worse time for Klopp, who is already without Joe Gomez and Ragnar Klavan, while Emre Can is also struggling to be fit for Wednesday’s visit of Manchester City in the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals.
“It was two days ago [I got the news],” The German coach said on Tuesday.
“After the game, nobody could have imagined that. Joel said he felt it a bit but he could do everything, so it should be fine.
“We all thought it was kind of a dead leg. The only problem was nobody saw when he got the dead leg. That left us a little bit concerned.
“Getting the news was, of course, absolutely bad, especially with the background – Joe [Gomez] is already out, Ragnar [Klavan] is not fit, Emre [Can] is struggling.
“That was then quite harsh. But it is like it is. Joel has already started recovery and will be back for pre-season. That’s good. It doesn’t help us too much in the moment, of course: not too cool.”
The outing at Selhurst Park was Matip’s 34th and final appearance of the season for Klopp’s side. The former Cameroon international managed one goal which came in the 4-1 victory over West Ham in the Premier League on November 4.