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Tiago Ilori to Avoid Long-Term Layoff After Early Exit at U21 Euros

After coming off early in the 1-1 draw against Sweden at the U21 Euros, the worst was feared yet again for Tiago Ilori, but an update on his injury has reportedly ruled out a tear, meaning he shouldn't miss much more than a few weeks.

Christian Hofer/Getty Images

The future of Tiago Ilori at Liverpool has seemed to hinge on one or two interconnected factors--strengthening himself physically while avoiding injury. It's something that the young central defender has been unable to do over the course of two seasons since joining Liverpool, with long spells out due to fitness concerns at both Granada and Bordeaux. When healthy he's managed to impress, but extended runs in the first team at each destination have been short-lived, and injuries have mostly been the culprit.

After finishing the season well at Bordeaux and getting off to a promising start to the U21 Euros for Portugal, however, it seemed as though he was finally set up for a breakthrough back at Liverpool, and comments from his father appeared to indicate as much. In addition to the strong performances, Ilori looked more solid physically, and as long as he stayed fit for the remainder of the competition, preseason appearances for Liverpool were all but guaranteed.

And they'll hopefully continue to be despite another setback, with the young defender coming off just shy of 30 minutes into Portugal's final group-play matchup against Sweden. Initially the reason for the substitution was unclear, but in the days since it has been revealed that the 22-year-old was suffering from fatigue-related concerns rather than a muscle tear.

That might not make him available the rest of the way in the Czech Republic, meaning that he'll miss a matchup against Liverpool teammate Emre Can in the semi-finals, but it should prove good news for those hoping to see him as part of Liverpool's preseason tour. With four senior squad members starting the season ahead of him on the depth chart and the arrival of Joe Gomez, this is a crucial summer for Tiago Ilori.

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