It’s a cursed time of the season, maybe, that tears players down. Bodies are tiring from the onslaught of football matches that had to be contested. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was last season’s man, taken out of the excitement of the Champions League final with an injury against AS Roma in the semis that kept him out of action for a year. This time around, Liverpool’s late season injury victim is the unfortunate Naby Keita who hobbled off the pitch in Barcelona.
Keita was substituted at the twenty-four minute mark, walking uncomfortably. There was an obvious groin injury from the player’s reaction to the pain. After the match, it was understood that the Guinean midfielder would miss the remainder of Liverpool’s games this season. In his pre-Newcastle press conference, Jürgen Klopp confirmed that information but added that Keita’s injury is serious enough to keep him out of any action at all for most of the summer.
“It was really unlucky,” said Klopp. “
“Bad news, he has a high-grade adductor injury; the tendon is ruptured, which keeps him out for at least two months.
“Bad news for us obviously, but bad news for Guinea as well because the Africa Cup of Nations is coming up.
“He was in a really good moment – a really, really good moment – but it happened, that’s how football and life sometimes are. It’s not too nice, but it’s very serious.”
Keita’s influence on the team was growing, we’ve seen a fair bit of quality from him in the second half of the campaign. He’s a big loss for Klopp in this final push, but Liverpool do have a fit and ready, newly-returned Oxlade-Chamberlain that couldn’t be more amped to make something out of the season’s remaining minutes as attacking midfielder. Klopp is weighing up his Ox options for the trip to Newcastle on Saturday.
“Perfect that he’s back” Klopp said. “We will see. For sure he will be in the squad and we will decide who starts.”