Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has been one of Liverpool’s pre-season standouts, but having missed almost more than a year of football due to injury, it’s to be expected that the player will have to deal with setbacks and complications.
The midfielder could be seen struggling with an issue at times against Sporting on Wednesday evening, and following the match Jürgen Klopp revealed that it was due to a calf issue—as well as general issues with muscle cramping.
“Two games in a row with 60 minutes is very important,” Klopp noted after the game. “He has been a bit unlucky with a calf problem. It is not a tear but something he has it from time to time when the intensity gets too high for him.
“He got through the first 20 minutes when he was really involved then he felt it. Then he was [less involved in] the game, which is not too cool for the others if someone is on and off. Apart from that he has made all the sessions.”
Even though Oxlade-Chamberlain will have worked to maintain his fitness while out injured, simply put there is no way for a player to be fully fit—fully match fit—without playing and training day in and day out, week in and week out.
It’s why almost every player who is out injured for an extended period will struggle through minor knocks and fitness issues for a time after they do return to action, and so while it may not be ideal, it’s also far from alarming news.
“It is very positive that he has made all the sessions,” Klopp added. “Some things I liked, some things I did not like. Stability, consistency, fighting for results. It is all important. Consistency on a high level is most important.”