Liverpool fans are justifiably excited about Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s return after his lengthy injury layoff. An unusually large crowd flocked to watch the midfielder who was so pivotal in last year’s Champions League run kick a ball in a competitive match for the U23s yesterday.
However, the road to recovery isn’t always a smooth one, and yesterday Ox might have suffered a slight set back. The midfielder left the pitch after 40 minutes after picking up a possible muscle strain.
“He obviously had a bit of an issue but hopefully it’s nothing major,” said U23 boss Neil Critchley. “The bonus for him is that it’s not his knee, so he’s delighted there are no problems with that.
“He was enjoying himself, he was happy to be back playing. Hopefully when he wakes up in the morning, fingers crossed it’s nothing and only a precaution.
“The idea was only ever to play him for 45 minutes at most anyway. He nearly got that, as well.
“Hopefully it’s not as bad as it first looked. He was looking over [to the bench] and we weren’t sure. It’s maybe some kind of muscle problem and maybe one to assess tomorrow.
“What was good is that he was sensible. He came off quite quick. He has handled that situation quite well.”
These sorts of muscle issues after a long layoff are fairly common, but disappointing nonetheless. However, it sounds like they caught the issue fairly early, and Chambo was quick enough to recognize the problem and not try push through it, possibly exacerbating the issue.
We’ll all have our fingers crossed for Ox, hopeful of a good report in a couple of days, so he can continue his return to full fitness.