Liverpool FC Assistant Manager Pepijn Lijnders offered an update on Diogo Jota’s status ahead of the Carabao Cup game against Manchester City. The Portugal international has been busy rehabbing during the warm-weather training camp in Dubai last week and set February’s Champions League round of 16 fixture with Real Madrid as his comeback date.
“Jota is within the timeframe. He was with us in Dubai. It was nice for someone with a long-term injury to get out of the English weather. He was in all the video meetings and we had a lot of them.”
Jota’s return is of course even more important after Luis Diaz aggravated his knee issue at that camp in Dubai, and had to get surgery, ruling him out of action until March.
“We all know the impact Luis had on this team. For him and for the team, it’s really sad it happened. But he has the character to come back strong and really help us. Hopefully everything goes smoothly.”
As for other injury concerns, Curtis Jones remains a week away from a return to full team training. On the good side of things, both Joel Matip and Naby Keita are back in contention to feature against City having featured in the recent friendlies against Lyon and AC Milan. Late decisions will have to be made on which return World Cup players take the field, although Ibrahima Konaté will definitely miss out after his participation in the World Cup final.
“It’s new for us with a World Cup in the middle of the season. The ones who played at the World Cup made a lot of people proud. They have rhythm but they needed some time off as well. Players like Hendo, Trent, Ali and Fabinho came back with a strong feeling and good energy, which is important.”
“We had a really good training camp in Dubai. The togetherness, the spirit, the hunger, the passion, the fight. This team is 100% motivated for City and for the second half of the season.”
Up the second half of the season Reds!