Joe Gomez has seemingly learned his fate after undergoing further examination on the ankle injury that saw him substituted after 10 minutes in England’s 1-0 win over the Netherlands on Friday night.
The Liverpool defender subsequently withdrew from Gareth Southgate’s squad and returned to Merseyside for further tests to determine the extent of the issue.
He is now expected to be sidelined for up to a month, according to ESPN sources.
Though still yet to be confirmed by the official club, the layoff will consequently see Gomez miss Liverpool’s two Champions League quarter-final legs against Manchester City in April.
It also arrives as a cruel hindrance to his chances of earning a spot on the plane to the World Cup, having thoroughly deserved to be in contention of a place in the squad after a superb domestic campaign.
Gomez had surfaced as a popular figure under Southgate, who appears an avid admirer of the 20-year-old’s blend of power, athleticism and composure on the ball.
Nathaniel Clyne’s lengthy absence has granted Gomez the opportunity to exercise his distribution as well as earn the game time he requires as he works towards an eventual transition into a central role.
The former Charlton man is unfortunately no stranger to injury setbacks with the Reds, having suffered a season-ending knee problem during the first half of his first campaign with the club. That experience has, however, given him a resilience to pick up where he left off when he eventually recovers.
Jurgen Klopp’s regular rotation between Gomez and Trent Alexander-Arnold now looks even wiser, with the latter set to face another extended run in the team.
Another option will be to reintroduce Clyne to action slightly earlier than expected, although his lack of minutes raises questions over what kind of condition he is in.
We wish Gomez a speedy recovery.