Liverpool expect to be without Diogo Jota for between six to eight weeks, Jurgen Klopp has announced.
Jota sustained a knee injury during Liverpool’s Champions League draw with Midtjylland on Wednesday.
Early reports from Portugal suggested the 24-year-old, who has scored nine goals for Liverpool across all competitions this season, would be out for around two months.
Klopp revealed on Sunday that the ex-Wolves attacker could be absent for around that duration – dealing the Premier League champions another blow ahead of a hectic festive schedule.
Liverpool manager Klopp told Sky Sports the club had fears at one stage there could be a long-term injury absence for Jota.
“It’s worse than we first thought and better than we then thought,” Klopp said. “So after all the potential surgeons had a look at it, no surgery was needed.
“He’ll be out for a while – one and a half [or] two months, we don’t know exactly.”
Klopp said Jota underwent scans on Thursday, after which a surgeon examined the problem.
“In the end, it’s strange but we were happy when we heard the final diagnosis,” Klopp added.
After facing Fulham on Sunday, Liverpool take on high-flying Tottenham in a huge clash on Wednesday, before an early game against Crystal Palace three days later.
The Reds get Boxing Day free, instead playing host to struggling West Brom on December 27, followed by away trips to Newcastle United and Southampton.
In a best-case scenario, Jota will be in line to make his return by the end of January.
There was at least positive news elsewhere for Liverpool, with goalkeeper Alisson back in the starting XI at Fulham after missing the last three fixtures with a hamstring issue.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was named in a matchday squad for the first time this season after the midfielder overcame a knee injury suffered in a pre-season training camp.
Liverpool have two long-term absentees in the form of defenders Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez, who have both suffered potentially season-ending knee injuries, while Thiago Alcantara has not featured since sustaining a problem due to a challenge from Everton’s Richarlison in the Merseyside derby on October 17.
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