Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp has been handed a huge boost as the hamstring injury suffered by midfielder Fabinho is not as serious as was initially feared.
The Brazilian pulled up after just 30 minutes in Tuesday's 2-0 win over Midtjylland, and with senior centre-backs Virgil van Dijk and Joël Matip both out injured, it was academy defender Rhys Williams who was given the chance to shine alongside Joe Gomez.
At first glance, it was feared that Liverpool may be without Fabinho for some time, but according to The Mirror, scans on Wednesday revealed that the 27-year-old's injury is nowhere near as serious as it seemed.
Fears of a grade three tear, which could have sidelined Fabinho for around six months, have now disappeared, with the midfielder now only expected to miss a few weeks while he recovers. A return after the international break is seen as likely.
That means Fabinho will be unavailable for Saturday's visit of West Ham United, and he will also have to watch from the stands as Liverpool face Atalanta and Manchester City in early November. The meeting with Leicester City after the break is seen as a possible target.
As it stands, Williams is in line to start his first Premier League game against West Ham, but Klopp is also prepared to give opportunities to fellow academy defenders Nat Phillips and Billy Koumetio to ensure his squad remains rested.
Captain Jordan Henderson is also available and could fill in on Saturday, having been deployed as a centre-back on a handful of occasions in the past.
As for Matip, he is expected to make a return to action in the near future, although Klopp was adamant (via the club's official website) that he will not risk rushing the Cameroon international back into the starting lineup.
“Look, if it would be only one game we play, if it was the last game of the season, I think we could make probably one or the other fit for one game – but we play three days later again and we need players again," the boss explained.
“The players who are now injured, we cannot use them on the first day of being fit again – or not injured anymore. They need a proper build-up for the rest of the season and that’s what we try.
“It is this juggle all the time between the fit players – how much can they play still? – and when we can use the others again?"