Dejan Lovren has revealed the worrying extent of his early season fitness problems.
The defender has explained he is suffering from a back injury that has been getting progressively worse in recent weeks, as well as an Achilles issue that means he is taking tablets in order to play.
“I have problems for the last two weeks with my whole body, it hurts,” the 28-year-old told Sportske novosti.
“I play, but I’m not training at all. I can’t train. The biggest problem is my back. That’s why I skipped the matches against Manchester City and Burnley in the Premier League.
“I have big problems with the left side of my body. I’m taking pills so I can play. I take five pills before every game.”
“All this time I’m playing under tablets. It’s not normal to have four of five tablets before each game. I wanted to play, the coach put me in the team, but it is not good.
“I’m worse and worse. For a long time, it makes no sense.”
Injury set-backs proved costly for Lovren last season when he was limited from game time as part of a promising pairing with Joel Matip.
His various issues explain why Jurgen Klopp has tended to alternate between the Croatian and backup Ragnar Klavan for Premier League and Champions League matches.
The severity of Lovren’s health concerns threatens to raise further questions over why the club did not recruit another central defender in the summer.
That said, it’s worth pointing out the respect the 28-year-old deserves for attempting to play through his pain.
It now remains to be seen whether he will feature in Sunday’s clash with Newcastle.