England manager Gareth Southgate expressed doubt that Liverpool’s Jordan Henderson is on track to return from long-term injury in time to play in the Euro 2020 tournament.
The 30-year-old has been sidelined since going down with a serious groin injury in February’s Merseyside derby, needing to undergo surgery to assist in his recovery.
Liverpool boss, Jürgen Klopp has already expressed doubt that his skipper will be able to feature in the back end of the club campaign as the recovery has not progressed quite as quickly as the initial 6-10 week estimate.
The concerns have extended to his international manager in Southgate who is becoming increasingly doubtful that his vice-captain will be at match sharpness for a June start to the Euros.
“In terms of promises, we can only say that Hendo himself is very optimistic about how the operation went and the prognosis that the specialist has given him as to what is possible,” Southgate said ahead of Sunday’s World Cup qualifier win over Albania.”
“We are conscious that with any injury of that nature, there is a guide and a time defined—but that anything can happen along the way.
“We know it’s going to be close to the end of the season and we will just have to see how it goes.
“He will give himself every chance of being available. And, of course, we also know he is likely to be a bit short of match minutes in high-level games.”
While the Henderson has been borderline world class in Liverpool’s successes in recent seasons, it is the rallying presence of his leadership both on and off the pitch that is arguably the most crucial part of what he brings to the table for both club and country.
The news is just as disheartening for Reds supporters, who are aware of the need for a captain’s presence on the pitch as a decisive domestic and Champions League pushes begins.