Klopp says summer signing Thia...


Klopp says summer signing Thiago still weeks away from Liverpool return

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Liverpool will have to continue to plan without their summer signing Thiago for the foreseeable future. 

Manager Jurgen Klopp's confirmed the midfielder is a number of weeks away from full fitness.

The former Bayern Munich player has managed just 135-minutes of action for the Premier League champions since his arrival for an initial £20million (€22.3m).

Following his half-time introduction against Chelsea in September, he contracted COVID-19 which led to him missing games with Arsenal and Aston Villa.

And upon his return to the Liverpool side in October's 2-2 draw with Everton, Thiago suffered a knee injury courtesy of a challenge from Richarlison.

The Spain international had been pictured on the training pitch in recent weeks, leading to hopes from Liverpool supporters that their marquee signing was nearing a return.

However, Klopp dampened expectations ahead of Tuesday's Champions League visit of Ajax to Anfield.

"Thiago we have to maybe clarify it a little bit," the manager said.

"On that day when Thiago got injured in that challenge in the Everton game, there was another bad injury [to Virgil van Dijk] and after the scans it was like one was really bad news and the other one was really good news because nothing was broken, nothing was ruptured and stuff like this.

“But, as we realise now, it was still a massive impact on the knee.

"The problem is in a situation like that, nothing is ruptured and nothing is broken and that means everybody thinks, ‘OK, you can go after a few days’, but the impact on the leg was that big that it is still not OK.

“It is not massive and he trains from time to time, not in the moment because we just have to realise that we have to go a few further steps.

"I can’t say exactly when he will be fine, but it will take a few weeks still with Thiago."

While Thiago remains out, Jordan Henderson is "OK" for Tuesday night's game.

Klopp will still be without Naby Keita, Xherdan Shaqiri and Trent Alexander-Arnold too, although none of those three are far away.

"They are all getting closer to being back, [but] not close enough for tomorrow, I think," Klopp said.

“With Naby we have to check there still, but with the other two, they will not be ready.

“Trent looks quite good, but nobody gave me the green light for tonight so he will not be in it [training]. He hasn’t trained with the team and stuff like this.

“I saw him today on the pitch doing his rehab stuff outside, so that looks already good, but I cannot decide when this rehab stuff is finished.

"I take the players only in the moment when I get the green light and that didn't happen yet.

"But from my rather experienced eye from what I saw today, it will not be that long anymore with Trent."

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Everton Jurgen Klopp Klopp Liverpool Merseyside Derby Richarlison Thiago Thiago Alcantara

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