There was understandable worry when Darwin Núñez was forced off with a shoulder injury during Liverpool’s 2-0 win over Newcastle last weekend. That worry seemed to be assuaged when the Uruguayan forward was included in the starting XI for the Reds’ 5-2 loss to Real Madrid on Tuesday. Núñez scored in the match and didn’t seem to be suffering any lingering effects of the knock picked up against the Magpies.
It was a surprise, then, to see that the striker was excluded entirely from the matchday squad for yesterday’s scoreless draw with Crystal Palace. There had been no indication that he was a doubt for the match, and the reason for his absence, while presumably related to the aforementioned shoulder injury, was unclear.
Manager Jürgen Klopp confirmed the absence of his chaos creator was due to a reaggravation of the injury to his shoulder following the match at Selhurst Park.
Darwin was okay with an injection against Madrid because there’s no structural damage. It’s very painful but the day after the Madrid game he got another knock there and he couldn’t move the arm at all. We will have to see how long that will take. That was the reason for him not playing.
While that’s not quite panic-inducing, it is certainly worrying. Liverpool’s already subpar attacking game has looked even more toothless when Darwin is not on the pitch this season. Any possibility of him missing additional time when every single point is crucial for Liverpool to have any hopes of working their way into the top four is concerning.
It’s hard to predict a timeline for Núñez’s return based solely on Klopp’s quote, but it seems like his participation when LFC host to Wolverhampton on Wednesday is in doubt. Hopefully there will be a clearer picture of the severity of the setback sooner rather than later.