For many Liverpool fans, that Sheyi Ojo wasn’t involved in either of the club’s final two pre-season friendlies and was then nowhere to be seen against Arsenal was an odd situation. Had the player had a falling out? Was his immediate future with the youth and reserves? Or was he set for a loan spell away from Anfield?
It turned out that fitness and injury was the real issue, though the severity of that issue wasn’t known until now, following news that Ojo had a broken bone in his back. It isn’t a serious fracture, but it is expected to keep him out for at least another month and the young winger won’t be expected back in training until mid-September.
According to the Echo, the club believe that the fracture was the result of overwork and a series of minor incidents rather than a single one, and so club’s priority won’t be to get Ojo back as quickly as possible—something not necessary in any case due to depth at his position—it will be to get the 19-year-old some rest.
Following the club’s North American tour, Ojo complained about soreness in his lower back and after being examined he was given some time to rest up. When the soreness didn’t go away, the club sent him to get scans done and the minor fracture was discovered. The club do not expect surgery to be required.
Ojo joined Liverpool for £2M in 2011 as a 14-year-old from MK Dons. Since then, he has impressed at every youth level and been a regular for England’s youth teams. After a successful autumn with Wolves last year, he returned to Liverpool to make 11 appearances in the spring, scoring a goal and four assists.