Liverpool’s up and down season continued with a demoralizing loss to Brentford to open up the 2023 calendar year. Even before the match kicked off, Jürgen Klopp found himself down a midfielder and a captain as Jordan Henderson was not named to the squad.
Henderson took a knock in the back of the head against Leicester, and seemed out of sorts to finish the match. According to Klopp, Henderson was diagnosed with a concussion in a follow up assessment.
“Hendo has a concussion, it’s normal procedure,” said Klopp of his captain.
“It’s not massive but we always follow the protocols. The next day we did a test and it was not 100 per cent, so we follow the protocol. He will be ready for the next game again but not for this.”
In Henderson’s stead, Dutch defender Virgil van Dijk was named captain for the match. Unfortunately, van Dijk was substituted at half time. According to Klopp, the central defender tweaked his hamstring.
“Virgil felt a little bit his muscle, but he said he’s fine and he’s a very good judge of these things,” said Klopp after the match.
“I didn’t want to take any risk. The physios looked quite happy when I said I didn’t want to take a risk. It’s not an injury, he just felt the intensity.”
With van Dijk playing his second game in three days, following playing a high volume of minutes for the Netherlands in the World Cup, it’s not overly surprising that he had a soft tissue issue. With over half the season left to play, it was probably the smartest course of action by Klopp to pull the defender off with an eye towards his long term health.