Jurgen Klopp admits it was a late thigh problem that ruled Dejan Lovren out of Saturday’s win over Huddersfield.
The defender had initially been a shock inclusion in the starting lineup after enduring a miserable afternoon in last week’s 4-1 defeat to Tottenham at Wembley.
Lovren had been partially at fault for Spurs’ opening two goals and was subsequently replaced by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain after just 30 minutes.
The defender had managed to retain his place in the team, but picked up an injury during the pre-match warm-up.
“It was the last pass. Maybe you saw it. Joel and Dejan were exchanging passes and then in the last one, he felt something in the muscle,” Klopp told Liverpoolfc.com.
“I don’t know exactly, we had no time – the only question I asked in the treatment room was, ‘Yes or no?’ and I got a no and then we changed. It is his thigh.”
A last-minute swap saw Lovren replaced by Ragnar Klavan, who helped Liverpool earn a valuable clean sheet.
Lovren has struggled for fitness all season and recently admitted he has to take five painkillers before each match just to play through the pain of a long-term back problem.
Though his partnership with Joel Matip has teased signs of promise, the pair of rarely been fit long enough to play regularly together.
It’s not only the form of Klopp’s centre-backs, but also the injury issues that make further reinforcements vital come January.