It could be nothing. It’s possible that Adam Lallana and Joël Matip will be going back to Melwood early instead of featuring in the friendly against Napoli on Saturday as a mere precautionary measure and not as a forewarning of another season spent wondering if either of them will ever be fully fit again. It’s tough to back those odds, though.
Lallana missed the majority of the last season due to injury. His returns to the first-team were short-lived and he never had time to get into a rhythm. Matip missed the end of the season due to a thigh injury that required surgery. The Liverpool defender already had to leave the US pre-season tour because of a quad injury picked up in Charlotte. Now Matip has a sore hip to go along with it.
Lallana was optimistic about working his way back into the starting eleven after a solid start to pre-season. But the England midfielder will now sit out the trip to Dublin in an effort to manage the wear and tear on his body. Jürgen Klopp is said to be looking to utilize both Lallana and Matip in Liverpool’s final friendly against Torino at Anfield. And maybe that’s true and we all definitely believe it. I want to believe it. I’m just not ready to get hurt again.
Marko Grujic has also left Liverpool’s training camp in France. The Serbian midfielder has a case of sore hamstring coupled with an eminent loan move back to Cardiff City. Grujic spent last season helping Cardiff in their promotion campaign from the Championship and manager Neil Warnock is keen to bring the Liverpool midfielder back to Wales for another year.
The not-really upside to all this is that Danny Ings will be at Melwood to greet the guys when they return, probably with much fanfare. The Liverpool striker has been grounded for the mission against Napoli and will not travel. Ings looks to be on the move this window and Klopp will give the available minutes in the striker position to Roberto Firmino, Daniel Sturridge and Dominic Solanke.
The start of the season is fast approaching. Two more training games to go, then Liverpool should be ready to push on further than they did last season. Trophies. But injuries will play a part. I’m not saying I’m nervous, I’m just saying I really want us to have fun this season and I’d hate for anything to ruin that.