It has been over 13,000 minutes since we last saw Jon Flanagan play football. Daniel Sturridge has nearly as many missed games due to injury as he does appearances for Liverpool. Mamadou Sakho is Liverpool's best defender, and one of its brightest lights on and off the pitch. He also has an injury history that includes something called an intraarticular ligament crack initiation. That sounds as much like a warp-drive systems test for the USS Enterprise as it does a knee injury.
We bring this to your attention not only because of our deep seeded need to ensure the status quo of all things remaining the worst, but because allegedly the next fortnight will see all three of these players return to the playing fold for Jürgen Klopp's Reds. No, seriously.
Ok, so we've heard that one before. Lets face it, most of us have only adopted living with injuries. These three players were born in it, molded by it. They hadn't seen a healthy bill of health until they were already men, by which point it was nothing to them but a bit of parchment upon which to doodle their next rehab schedule.
And, so, delighted though we are at the prospect of having all three of Flannavaro, Studge, and Mama back in the reckoning, the estimated return dates feel more like sell by dates on a carton of milk. Sure, we can use it as a reference point, but we're not going to know for certain until we stick our nose in there and get a good whiff.
But instead of simply living with this cold, jaded perspective, why not make a game out of it? The game is as follows: who from these three players will make their return to the playing field first? Not the training ground, not a step up in training, but actual, for real matchday minutes for Liverpool.
Give us your vote!