Jurgen Klopp admits Joe Gomez played through pain to help Liverpool in their goalless draw against Stoke.
The defender was recently ruled out for the remainder of the season and the World Cup after undergoing surgery on an ankle injury it was revealed he suffered early on against the Potters at Anfield just two weeks ago.
Gomez had been continuing his comeback after enduring a number of weeks on the sidelines having left the field injured in the first half of England’s 1-0 win over the Netherlands back in March.
His latest setback concludes a mixed campaign in which he has often shared the workload with Trent Alexander-Arnold at right-back in the absence of Nathaniel Clyne.
Discussing Gomez’s injury, Klopp told Liverpoolfc.com: “That’s absolutely something nobody needs.”
“We spoke about it a few times already, it’s like he sacrificed himself a little bit but we didn’t know [at the time].”
“It happened early in the Stoke game. It was not his best game obviously, but after the game the explanation came pretty soon. He got the injury early in the game and carried on and wanted to help the team.”
“I told him already, it was not the smartest decision in his life but it was a really brave decision.”
It marked a cruel individual blow to Gomez himself, who was arguably in strong contention to earn a place in Gareth Southgate’s England squad on the basis of his proven composure on the ball and defensive versatility.
That said, his efforts do reiterate an admirable dedication to Liverpool and desire to earn his place in the team.
His absence shreds Klopp’s options down even more amid the club’s current injury crisis, with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Emre Can and Joel Matip all currently out of action.
They could also be joined by Sadio Mane, who is now a doubt to face Brighton in Sunday’s final game of the Premier League season.
In more positive news, it seems Adam Lallana is edging closer to his return to fitness and likely to be available for the Champions League final.