Liverpool could be without James Milner for a crucial run of fixtures through October and into November after the midfielder suffered a hamstring injury against Manchester City on the weekend.
The Mail report that Milner will miss games against Huddersfield, Cardiff and Crvena Zvezda – all games which the Reds would expect to win comfortably with or without him – but the more serious concern is the veteran's availability to play Arsenal at the start of November.
Jurgen Klopp still has some midfield options available to him, with Jordan Henderson and Georginio Wijnaldum likely starters against Cardiff after this week's international break, but will find it vexing to fill the third spot usually occupied by Milner.
The former Manchester City man has started all but one of Liverpool's Premier League and Champions League games this season, leaving Klopp with little choice but to pick one of two underperforming summer arrivals in his place; Naby Keita or Fabinho.
Adam Lallana may also be available before the end of Milner's layoff, although his natural style leans toward a more attacking-focused role than his hamstrung teammate's workmanlike midfield industry.
Klopp briefly discussed Milner's injury in the immediate aftermath of Sunday's match against the reigning champions, saying: "How much [serious]? It's too early, I don't know. I asked him 'big one?' and he said 'I don't think so, but big enough that I go off.'"
I just told Joel Matip I had to come off because I felt my hamstring. He said Yeah, I saw James. I said It's probably because I've played lots of football lately isn't it. He said Probably. I said Yeah, I bet it's that.