Liverpool fans, having spent much of the last year worried about every cross into the box, were feeling a lot more confident heading into the new season when they learned the club had managed to sign the Bundesliga’s second-top rated goalkeeper for a bargain when they triggered Loris Karius’ £4.7M release clause.
Then, the 23-year-old German broke his hand punching clear against Chelsea during the club’s pre-season tour, connecting with defender Dejan Lovren’s head as much as the ball and resulting in an injury that meant he would spend at least two months on the sidelines. That two-month timeframe remains the prognosis.
That’s the bad news. The good news is that, having successfully undergone surgery on his hand today, we know that at the very least shouldn’t be worse than that. With no further complications, it’s now simply a matter of time, and the goalkeeper will be hoping to be back in the mix following the October international break.
In the meantime, Karius is expected to at least miss games against Arsenal, Burnley, Tottenham, Leicester, Chelsea, Hull, and likely Swansea on October 1st. The two week international break following that match, though, should give him a chance to get back up to speed and to at least be an option against Manchester United.
In the meantime, fans will have to hope Simon Mignolet’s failure to command the six-yard box last night against Roma in Liverpool’s final game of their USA pre-season tour was a one-off and not a sign the Belgian shot-stopper is set to remain a concern any time a ball is sent into the penalty area for the next two months.