Wednesday night’s draw with Napoli may lurk in our minds for longer than we’d like. Liverpool’s performance against their Italian rivals was below the well-established high bar of Jürgen Klopp’s side, putting the Reds’ Champions League progression in limbo, but also there’s the whole Fabinho injury thing.
The Brazilian midfielder tumbled awkwardly following a challenge with a Napoli player and tweaked something in or around his ankle. The physios were sent on and performed their proper checks and procedures. Then after a time Fabinho stood up and looked ready to continue playing. It was all just a scare, we thought.
That relief turned to shock horror when it became clear Fabinho wasn’t able to continue after all. Gini Wijnaldum came into play and Fabinho went straight down the tunnel to be assessed in the dressing room.
Following the match, Klopp admitted the loss of Fabinho was potentially the most damaging outcome from the game.
“The biggest thing tonight, by the way, was the Fabinho injury, it’s massive,” said Klopp.
“Of course, it’s still early and we all hope it’s not too serious but it’s pretty painful in an area where you don’t want to have pain, around the ankle and shin, so we have to see.”
The manager described Fabinho as a tough character, not a player that's going to leave the field voluntarily unless it’s necessary. But by the time of his post-match press conference, Klopp still didn’t know much about the impact Fabinho’s injury is going to have on Liverpool’s near future.
“I don't know, he has pain, so that’s not good,” Klopp said.
“He couldn’t continue obviously, and he’s a really hard one. I don’t want to say what I expect, because I hope in the moment it’s not that serious.
“But we’ll know more maybe tomorrow, maybe the day after tomorrow. We’ll see.”
Fabinho’s accumulation of five yellow cards, completed last Saturday against Crystal Palace, means he was already going to miss the weekend fixture with Brighton and Hove Albion. So, there’s a little extra rehab time before Everton on December 4th. Beyond that it gets scary. For now, we wait.