Liverpool's Parisian lion, Mamadou Sakho, had been having himself a joyously consequential run of form at the heart of Jürgen Klopp's defense. So joyous, in fact, that discussions typically centering on the awkwardness of Sakho's movements had begun turning to where Sakho ranked among the best central defenders in the league. And then he damaged knee ligaments in a jump and--awkward--landing against Crystal Palace.
The injury is undoubtedly going to be a tough one for Liverpool to o work through. Options in the heart of defense now consist of Dejan Lovren or Kolo Toure partnering Martin Skrtel, with Emre Can positionally flexible enough to play in central defense in case of emergencies. While that makes for some grim reading no matter how highly or lowly one rates those options individually, it is assuredly much more frustrating for Sakho himself to hit this injury just as he was firing on all cylinders for his new coach.
That bleak context is what makes this story about New Zealand's rugby league team meeting up with Sakho and other injured Liverpool players at Melwood so fun. The rugby league side were using Melwood to training prior to facing England in a three-test series for the Baskerville Shield. Further regurgitations of the story share some more fun pictures, but the highlight was of course when the Kiwis treated their hosts to their traditional Haka pre-game ritual.
Nothing heals like laughter and smiles, so here is hoping that Liverpool's crocked crew at Melwood made the most of this visit from the rugby beasts of New Zealand.