The beginning of the season is looming closer and closer, and in a huge change from the end of last season, the boss sounds cautiously optimistic about the squad’s injury status.
It’s mostly good news coming through at the end of training camp. After an issue with his quad forced him to miss Liverpool’s 3-0 win against Hertha BSC, James Milner was allowed to return to regular training on Sunday. Loris Karius, who had been sitting out due to a hip issue, was also able to take part in Sunday’s training, bringing Liverpool’s goalkeeping choices up to two.
The club is also being extremely cautious with Divock Origi and Dejan Lovren: both players were pulled from Saturday’s game after complaints of tight muscles and are being monitored by the medical team.
The biggest blow to Liverpool, however, is the fact that Nathaniel Clyne is likely out for the season opener. The full-back has been suffering from hamstring and back issues throughout pre-season, and while the hamstring issues have cleared up, his back remains a source of concern.
With Clyne still recovering, Klopp will have a choice between bringing Trent Alexander-Arnold up for the opener against Watford or opting for Joe Gomez who has recently recovered from injuries himself.
“Trent, we all know, is a fantastic player, but also just 18,” Klopp said when asked how he’s going to fill the Clyne-sized hole in the back four. “Offensively he is already probably ready, but in defence he needs to improve a lot. We need these different options and it's good to have Joe Gomez back, absolutely.”