Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has confirmed that Joel Matip ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament in the recent 4-3 win over Fulham.
The 32-year-old left the field after 69 minutes at Anfield after turning awkwardly, and scans have subsequently confirmed Liverpool's worst fears.
Speaking after the Reds' 2-0 win over Sheffield United in the Premier League, Klopp said of Matip's injury: "It’s an ACL, ruptured, so that’s what I unfortunately expected from the first second. Everything looked like that. Very unfortunate."
ACL injuries that require surgery typically rule players out of action for at least nine months, meaning Matip will almost certainly miss the remainder of the 2023/24 season. His absence leaves Ibrahima Konate, Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Jarell Quansah as Liverpool's centre-back options for the remainder of the season, potentially opening up the possibility of a January signing.
Liverpool are firmly in the Premier League title mix after goals from Van Dijk and Dominik Szoboszlai on Wednesday night kept up the pressure on Arsenal at the top of the table, and Klopp's side are also expected to go far in the Europa League after cruising through the group stages.
Whether Matip has played his final game for Liverpool remains to be seen, with the Cameroonian's contract up at the end of the season. He has been no stranger to injury problems during his lengthy stay on Merseyside, once missing over five months of action because of an ankle injury, and 90min has previously revealed the club's interest in Sporting CP's Goncalo Inacio, Benfica's Antonio Silva and others.
Matip had started nine of Liverpool's 14 Premier League games prior to victory at Bramall Lane, earning regular minutes after Konate picked up a muscle injury towards the end of August.