Liverpool don’t play until Sunday, when they return to action after an extended eight-day layoff against West Brom, but with Christmas between now and kickoff manager Jürgen Klopp took his pre-match press conference early.
With a number of injured players back in training this week, leaving only forward Diogo Jota and long-term defensive absentees Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez missing, the main talking point for the Liverpool boss was obvious.
“Thiago made his first steps back towards team training,” Klopp began when asked about last summer’s star signing. “He is not involved in the full session but makes good steps but after the long time he is now we cannot rush it.
“The other guys are closer. [Xherdan Shaqiri] trained really good and [James Milner]. Yesterday they had a full session, today a little adapted. It is a new situation for us—we still have two more training days until we make decisions.”
After his long layoff and with the player slightly behind Shaqiri and Milner—as well as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Naby Keïta, who returned to action last week—Klopp confirmed Thiago is certain not to face West Brom.
“It looks good, but I don’t know really when,” the manager added. “Thiago will not be involved—he has to first be in full training sessions and then we can start thinking about it. But he is not too far away, I hope.”