Hen­der­son faces fit­ness test as Klopp con­fronts grow­ing in­jury list

The Daily Telegraph - Sport - - Football - By Chris Bas­combe

Liver­pool are sweat­ing on the fit­ness of cap­tain Jordan Hen­der­son be­fore to­mor­row’s game at Brighton.

The mid­fielder has sus­tained a calf in­jury and will un­dergo a fit­ness test to­day to es­tab­lish if he can make the trip south. He suf­fered the in­jury on the eve of Liver­pool’s FA Cup third-round de­feat by Wolves at Mo­lineux on Mon­day.

With sev­eral in­jury prob­lems aris­ing over the past few weeks, Jur­gen Klopp’s squad is be­ing stretched more than at any time so far this sea­son.

The Liver­pool man­ager will be with­out De­jan Lovren to­mor­row due to the ham­string prob­lem the cen­tre-back picked up in the early stages of Mon­day’s 2-1 loss, while fel­low de­fender Joel Matip is not likely to have re­cov­ered from a bro­ken col­lar­bone in time.

Matip is mak­ing progress and, like Lovren, could be back to face Crys­tal Palace on Jan 19. Joe Gomez is miss­ing un­til Fe­bru­ary due to a leg frac­ture sus­tained at Burn­ley last month. That means an­other mid­fielder, Fabinho, is likely to con­tinue as a makeshift cen­tre­back at Brighton as Liver­pool seek to pre­serve their four-point lead at the top of the Premier League. The Brazil­ian played in that role at Wolves along­side 16-year-old Ki-jana Ho­ever.

If Fabinho fea­tures in de­fence, Liver­pool can ill af­ford for Hen­der­son to be ab­sent as it will limit mid­field op­tions. Hen­der­son had been pen­cilled into to play at cen­tre-back along­side Fabinho at Mo­lineux prior to his in­jury. His late with­drawal meant that Lovren – who was due to be rested with Vir­gil van Dijk – had to play. Liver­pool paid the price af­ter just five min­utes of the tie.

James Mil­ner, Naby Keita and Xher­dan Shaqiri are avail­able, but Adam Lal­lana will also need to prove his fit­ness to be in­volved. Lal­lana was also meant to start at Wolves on Mon­day but was a late with­drawal.

Hen­der­son and Lal­lana will try to com­plete a full train­ing ses­sion to­day be­fore Liver­pool travel to Brighton.

De­spite the in­jury is­sues, Klopp has made no plans to en­ter the trans­fer mar­ket as he an­tic­i­pates hav­ing a full squad avail­able by the end of the month.

Liver­pool’s only ac­tiv­ity so far has in­volved out­go­ing loan deals and the £19mil­lion sale of Dominic Solanke to Bournemouth.

Teenager Ben Wood­burn, who has re­turned to An­field af­ter a dis­ap­point­ing loan spell at Sh­effield United, will be al­lowed to move on again for the re­main­der of the sea­son. Sev­eral Cham­pi­onship clubs are show­ing in­ter­est in the striker.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.