So the good news about Joe Gomez’s not-so-serious ankle injury has to be balanced by the universe somehow. Today, we find out that that balance has been achieved with some not-so-good news about Emre Can’s back problem. The German international has been released from international duty in order to return to Liverpool for treatment.
Can did not participate in Germany’s friendly with Spain on Friday and had no hope of being fit for Tuesday’s match with Brazil. It’s a blow for a player who has performed well for his country in the lead up to this summer’s World Cup.
“With ongoing back problems leaving him without a chance of playing against Brazil in Berlin on Tuesday,” read the statement from the German football association, “Emre Can has returned home today. Get well soon!”
Now the Melwood medical staff must work their magic to give Can every possibility of being available for Jürgen Klopp against Crystal Palace in a week.
Before the break Emre was substituted in the first half of Liverpool’s 5-0 win over Watford when his injury either occurred or became exacerbated. Initially, Klopp was bullish on Can’s recovery time but that confidence has likely dissipated with the German midfielder unable to prove fit for his country and headed back to Liverpool.
Jordan Henderson, Gini Wijnaldum and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are certainly capable of doing the job against Palace in the midfield. But the season still extends another confirmed nine games including the two Champions League matches against Manchester City. Tack on another two matches if Liverpool step over City to progress to the semi-finals of the competition. Beyond that I dare not project.
Emre Can is not likely a part of Liverpool’s future. The contract stuff doesn’t look like it’s going to be resolved between he and the club. But in the present, Can is a player that Klopp needs and his unavailability for a chunk of these remaining games would be a sore one to take.