Mohamed Salah could return to training next week after recovering from a hamstring injury, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has confirmed.
Salah suffered the injury while on international duty with Egypt at the Africa Cup of Nations, coming off at half-time in the 2-2 draw with Ghana in January.
The forward was initially diagnosed with a strain in his posterior muscle, with the Egypt Football Federation saying he would only be absent for two matches.
However, Salah’s injury was worse than first feared, with a further scan then revealing a “proper tear” in his hamstring, ruling the 31-year-old out of action for nearly a month.
Klopp, though, has provided a positive update on Salah’s condition.
“Mo is going in the right direction. We hope – but we don’t know – that he can be a part of training next week. If you ask him, it’s next week,” said the German in his pre-match press conference ahead of Burnley’s visit to Anfield on Saturday afternoon.
“He’s going through his paces now, but it’s positive. It will be next week or the week after. If you ask him, it will be next week!”
Salah has enjoyed another impressive campaign for the Reds, with his 18 goals and nine assists in all competitions – including a Premier League-high 14 goals so far this season – helping to maintain the club’s push for a historic quadruple.
Liverpool will also be without Thiago Alcantara against Burnley on Saturday after the Spain midfielder sustained a muscle injury in his five-minute substitute appearance in the 3-1 loss at Arsenal last weekend, in his first appearance since April.
“Thiago is not cool,” Klopp added. “He showed a lot of things in training on LFCTV and looked outstanding, so we took him, let him play for a few minutes.
“It’s a muscle issue, we don’t know the extent yet, but it’s not cool. Not good news for him or us.
“It’s not a big, big injury, but not good at the moment.”
Klopp, however, did not know whether Dominik Szoboszlai would be fit for this month’s Carabao Cup final after the Hungary midfielder aggravated a hamstring problem which caused him to miss most of January.
“Dom is running outside at the moment but is not ready for [Saturday],” Klopp added.
“It’s pretty much the same injury as he had before, obviously it’s really not good that he got that again.
“We are fighting for days, if you want. Is it Brentford? Is it the final [against Chelsea on February 25], or is it after the final? I don’t know at the moment.”
After the 3-1 defeat at Arsenal last Sunday, only their second loss this season, Klopp said he had no problems in lifting his players for the visit of 19th-placed Burnley in front of the ground’s biggest attendance of 60,000, with all but a small part of the refurbished Anfield Road stand was now open.
However, he stressed they had to ignore the visitors’ form which has left them seven points from Premier League safety.
“From the outside world it is probably a proper banana skin. For a sportsperson it is probably not as it is an opponent we respect a lot,” he added.
“The first thing we should forget is where Burnley is in the table as that creates a potential banana skin – it’s just a game.”
As a player Vincent Kompany never won at Anfield in eight visits with Manchester City, but played a pivotal role in preventing Liverpool winning the title in 2018-19 with a brilliant 25-yarder against Leicester which edged them a point ahead of Klopp’s side heading into the final game.
“I forgave him for that a long time [ago]. If there are players I should hate, Arjen Robben is one of them,” said Klopp, referring to the then Bayern Munich winger’s 89th-minute winner against his Borussia Dortmund side in the 2013 Champions League final.
“I believe there are other situations in that season that were more influential than when Vincent Kompany scores that goal – and when I think about that situation I still think [James)] Maddison should have blocked the shot.
“Vincent just tried to get rid of the ball and it ended up in the goal. Not that it’s not important but yes, I forgave long ago.”
Liverpool’s next six fixtures
Feb 10: Burnley (h), 3pm – Premier League
Feb 17: Brentford (a), 12.30pm – Premier League
Feb 21: Luton Town (h), 7.30pm – Premier League
Feb 25: Chelsea (n), 3pm – Carabao Cup final
Feb 28: Southampton (h), 8pm – FA Cup fifth round
March 2: Nottingham Forest (a), 3pm – Premier League
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