Jurgen Klopp admits Liverpool are unsure of how serious Joel Matip’s latest injury blow is.
The centre-back hobbled off clutching his thigh in the first-half of Liverpool’s 3-1 International Champions Cup defeat to Borussia Dortmund in Charlotte, North Carolina.
It marked a cruel disruption to a comeback that only started in the recent draw against Bury following three months on the sidelines.
Matip was ruled out for the remaining weeks of the season at the start of April after suffering a thigh injury during a 2-1 win over Crystal Palace, subsequently missing the Reds’ journey to the Champions League final.
Though there are inevitable concerns over another setback, it isn’t believed that his problem is a recurrence of last season’s injury.
Klopp told Liverpoolfc.com: “It’s not the same injury. It’s another muscle – it looks like, hopefully, only a little tear.
“We will see, but we cannot say anymore about it now. It is of course the most negative thing about the day. It’s not cool. Things like this can happen, but you don’t want them to.”
“Maybe tomorrow or the day after tomorrow we will know more, but in this moment we only know that it was too painful for him to carry on.”
The threat of another spell out of action looms as a significant blow to Liverpool’s preparations, with Dejan Lovren unlikely to be available for the opening day Premier League clash at home to West Ham.
Lovren only recently started his summer break after returning from the World Cup with Croatia having made it all the way to the final.
The onus will now be on Joe Gomez to vie for his anticipated transition into central defence as a partner to Virgil van Dijk.
Upcoming meetings with Manchester City and Manchester United will be valuable tests for the Englishman as he also continues his comeback from an injury layoff at the end of last season.