Liverpool's limp win over Carlisle in the League Cup earlier this week came at a heavy cost. Not only did the win scraped during penalties feel like a defeat emotionally, but more than one player that usually features in Brendan Rodgers' starting line up was struck down by injury. Dejan Lovren faces at least two months on the sidelines, and now it's looking like Roberto Firmino will be out for at least two weeks as well with a back injury.
The confirmation comes not directly from Liverpool but by way of Firmino's national federation, who had planned on the forward featuring for home and country in Brazil's World Cup qualifiers on October 8 and October 13. But in an announcement made by the Brazilian FA, it was revealed that Firmino would no longer participate in these matches.
"Ricardo Oliveira, the top goalscorer in the Brazilian league with 17 goals, was called up by Brazil coach Dunga," the CBF statement confirmed. "The Santos striker will take the place of Liverpool striker Firmino, who was released because of injury."
With the first of those matches still two weeks away, it doesn't feel like a terribly promising assessment of Firmino's fitness at the moment. Both of Brazil's matches take place in South America, so while it's not uncommon for an injured player to refrain from travelling great distances on the off chance he might be fit enough in two weeks' time, the withdrawal of his name from contention so quickly does suggest that those with informed medical opinions do not think this is an injury that will clear up in the next week or so.
The Liverpool Echo reports that Firmino has undergone a scan of his back, though the results of that scan have not been released. Liverpool fans will hope that the extra time off now afforded to the player by virtue of having no international break responsibilities will help expedite his healing process and that he'll be back and firing on all cylinders by the time Liverpool resume their season against Tottenham on October 17.