Jurgen Klopp Reacts to Fabinho Injury Setback

Jamie Spencer
Fabinho suffered a suspected hamstring injury against Midtjylland
Fabinho suffered a suspected hamstring injury against Midtjylland / Pool/Getty Images
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Jurgen Klopp has said that Fabinho believed he could have played on despite suffering a suspected hamstring injury during Tuesday night’s Champions League win over Midtjylland. However, the Liverpool manager also admitted the problem is now the ‘last thing we needed’.

The full extent of the issue will be learned in due course after a scan, but it was enough for Fabinho to be withdrawn from the game after only half an hour.

Fabinho could only play half an hour before being taken off
Fabinho could only play half an hour before being taken off / Michael Regan/Getty Images

“He felt his hamstring, and that's not good,” Klopp is quoted as saying by BBC Sport.

“He said he could have played on but no sprints, which doesn't help. We will see, we will know more after a scan but clearly it isn't good.

“We're doing really well but it's a shock for a team because now we have to sort that injury.”

Fabinho was already filling in as emergency cover for Virgil van Dijk, who could miss the rest of the season with ACL damage. Joel Matip is also missing through injury and Liverpool are down to the bare bones, with 23-year-old Joe Gomez the only senior available centre-back.

There is hope that Matip might be fit in time to face West Ham in Liverpool’s next game on Saturday, but Klopp is concerned about rushing anyone back with only minimal training given the potential for relapse or further problems if they are not fit enough.

“If it was one game at the end of the season, we could probably make one or the other play. But we have a game three days later. The players need a proper build-up,” he said in relation to Matip.

Fabinho had been filling in for Virgil van Dijk
Fabinho had been filling in for Virgil van Dijk / LAURENCE GRIFFITHS/Getty Images

Rhys Williams, who was remarkably playing in the National League North on loan last season, has been called into action. The home-grown 19-year-old replaced Fabinho and now has two Champions League appearances under his belt, as well as having played twice in the Carabao Cup.

The other centre-backs available to Klopp are 23-year-old Nat Phillips, who has played once for the first-team and spent last season on loan with Stuttgart in Germany’s second tier, and Dutch teenager Sepp van den Berg, who played four first-team games for Liverpool last season.

Midfielder Jordan Henderson was withdrawn at half-time against Midtjylland, but Klopp explained that was a pre-planned decision to manage his fitness amid the congested schedule.

19-year-old Rhys Williams has been thrust into the spotlight
19-year-old Rhys Williams has been thrust into the spotlight / Pool/Getty Images

“Hendo said at half-time he wants to play on…in these moments you have to be strong to yourself because I didn’t want to lose him,” Klopp explained via Liverpool’s official website.

“Before the game I’d decided already we have to share it – 45 and 45. We made the change, Gini [Wijnaldum] did really well and for both I think it helped that they played only 45.”


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