The substitution of Dejan Lovren in the second half against Bournemouth was a worrying sight. When the commentator said that the Liverpool defender had ‘pulled up’ I was hoping I was about to learn a new, positive interpretation of the phrase. But that was not the case. Lovren had felt something inside his body do something bad and would not be able to continue the match. Up went Ragnar Klavan from the bench.
With Joël Matip already out of commission for the rest of the season and Joe Gomez questionable for a return to action, Jürgen Klopp has only been able to call on two of Lovren, Klavan and Virgil Van Dijk from the first-team central defenders. And now the moment we’ve been dreading for several matches hits us square in the gut.
Lovren could be looking at an extended absence, leaving the manager with very few options going into an incredibly important period where Liverpool will be competing to advance to the Champions League final against AS Roma.
The good news for Lovren is that he was walking when he left the pitch. The bad news is that Klopp has no idea what state the centre-back is in and could only hope and speculate with the rest of us.
“I didn’t see the knock,” said Klopp. “I would love if it would be because of a knock rather than a strain or tear or whatever. I have no clue.
“He felt something but I didn’t speak to him afterwards, I only saw that he was limping.
“We made a change because we could make that change. We had a centre-half on the bench. Hopefully it is not too serious, of course, but I cannot say more now.”
Van Dijk and Klavan looked fine seeing out the match for the final ten minutes or so against Bournemouth. And Klavan has surprised us on several occasions with solid performances in big games. But my goodness, the thought of the pair starting in the semi-finals with only the young Conor Masterson sitting on the bench, prepared but anxious, ready in the event of an evil wind blowing yet another of Liverpool’s central defenders down the tunnel. Nightmare fuel.
Fortunately, there’s a cure for taming such thoughts. It’s bronze in color, wet as water and decimates reality on impact. Ask your doctor if bourbon is right for you.