Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has ruled Thiago Alcantara out of making a return to action in Wednesday night’s Premier League clash with Newcastle, despite finally returning to training.
Thiago has been missing for more than 10 weeks because a knee injury he suffered in a bad tempered Merseyside derby back in mid-October. He has only played 135 minutes since joining the Reds from Bayern Munich in the summer and fans are clamouring to see him back on the pitch.
Klopp has consistently had to field questions about the Spaniard’s condition throughout his frustrating absence and supporters were at least buoyed this week when it was confirmed that he would be returning to full training with the rest of the squad.
But the trip to St James’ Park has come too soon for Thiago to play and Klopp is exercising caution.
“Of course we are looking forward to [Thiago returning], but I don’t know. It’s not really likely that he will travel [to Newcastle], let me say it like this,” Klopp explained, via LiverpoolFC.com.
“He needs a few sessions. He was really out for a long time after a really harsh challenge – that was a proper impact. Nothing ruptured, nothing broken, but that still took time obviously and it still takes time. We cannot rush that, we will not do. So I don’t know.”
Thiago has already missed 16 games in all competitions as a result of the dangerous tackle that saw Everton’s Richarlison sent off in the derby. He had previously had to miss four games almost as soon as he arrived from Germany after testing positive for coronavirus.
Despite his injury and illness woes, Thiago was recently recognised by 90min as being one of the top five world class central midfielders currently in the game, alongside club teammates Jordan Henderson and Georginio Wijnaldum.