It has been some time since Jürgen Klopp has been free to choose from his three best center-backs, and news on Friday means that the wait has gotten even longer. Martin Skrtel, who suffered a hamstring injury back before Christmas, has been dealt a small setback after re-injuring himself in training. "We had the problem with Martin Skrtel, a little bit re-injured. He needs another two or three weeks, we have to see," Klopp said.
Skrtel wasn't expected to play against Sunderland on Saturday, but it looks like the defender will also miss out on the important cup games to come over this month. For now, Klopp will have to hope that Lovren and Sakho remain fit to play in Liverpool's packed February schedule.
There was better news regarding the injured attacking trio of Philippe Coutinho, Divock Origi, and Daniel Sturridge. With goals hard to come by for Liverpool as of late, those three have been sorely missed. While none are ready to rejoin the team on Saturday, there may be hope to see at least one come on mid-week in the FA Cup replay against West Ham.
About their progress, Klopp explained:
"Daniel is back in training, that’s great, since two days ago."
"Everything looks good in this moment. Now it is normal football training – really good for us and good for him.
"The day before yesterday he was together with Phil and Divock. If you see these three players then you know what you have missed for a few weeks.
"With Divock, Phil and Daniel in training, of course you think after five minutes maybe we should take them back into the squad.
"But that’s the moment to say ‘come on’; there are another three sessions which we can use and they are available for West Ham, that’s the idea in this moment if nothing happens in the next session."
It would be great to have any and all of these players back as soon as possible, but the main concern for fans will be that they're fit and ready to play on 28 February when Liverpool are set to face Manchester City in the league cup final at Wembley.
In between then and now, however, is the re-match against West Ham, a trip to Villa Park to take on Aston Villa in the league, as well as both legs of the Europa League round of 32 against Augsburg. That's a whole lot of games -- which might actually make a good slogan for Liverpool's season. Having those three key attackers available to Klopp will definitely help both in terms of team morale and to combat fatigue in players like Roberto Firmino, James Milner, and Adam Lallana as Liverpool head into the final third of a difficult season.