The hope for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain had been an early surgery, a quick recovery, and with a little bit of hard work and luck a return in time for pre-season. That, unfortunately, won’t be how the 24-year-old’s knee injury plays out.
According to The Liverpool Echo, despite the club’s initial hopes for a fairly short recovery time, post-surgery the consensus is that it will take Oxlade-Chamberlain at least six months now to get fully back to fitness.
The most optimistic reading of that would be for a return towards the end of October or start of November. Even if the player now recovers ahead of schedule, that would mean a return at least a month into the 2018-19 season.
While this news is unlikely to change Liverpool’s recruitment this summer, with midfield and attacking options expected to be sourced along with the already scheduled arrival of Naby Keïta, it does make getting those deals done even more important.
With Oxlade-Chamberlain set to miss a good chunk of next season, Adam Lallana and Jordan Henderson’s various injury issues in this one, and a likely Emre Can departure in the coming weeks, midfield is looking awfully thin.
With four fit midfielders for the Champions League final there’s just enough depth to see out the current season, but already there will be work being done on new signings—the Oxlade-Chamberlain news only highlights how important it will be.