Jurgen Klopp has confirmed Liverpool defender Joel Matip will miss the rest of the season with a thigh injury.
Matip suffered the injury in Saturday’s 2-1 Premier League win over Crystal Palace and initially thought it was just a dead leg – but the club have now confirmed he will require surgery.
Dejan Lovren is likely to partner Virgil van Dijk in Wednesday’s Champions League quarter-final first leg against Manchester City at Anfield – but Matip’s injury leaves Klopp short of cover in central defence, with Joe Gomez and Ragnar Klavan both injured and Emre Can battling to be fit.
“It was two days ago [I got the news],” said Klopp, speaking ahead of the City game. “After the game, nobody could have imagined that. Joel said he felt it a bit but he could do everything, so it should be fine.
“We all thought it was kind of a dead leg. The only problem was nobody saw when he got the dead leg. That left us a little bit concerned.
“Getting the news was, of course, absolutely bad, especially with the background – Joe [Gomez] is already out, Ragnar [Klavan] is not fit, Emre [Can] is struggling.
“That was then quite harsh. But it is like it is. Joel has already started recovery and will be back for pre-season. That’s good. It doesn’t help us too much in the moment, of course: not too cool.”
Klopp’s side are entering the biggest week of their season with Saturday’s Merseyside derby – live on Sky – sandwiched between the City double-header.
Lovren played in Liverpool’s 4-3 win over City in January – alongside Matip – and came off the bench for the final 20 minutes at Selhurst Park.
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