Jurgen Klopp has confirmed Dejan Lovren picked up a hamstring injury during Monday night’s FA Cup defeat to Wolverhampton Wanderers.
The defender lasted just six minutes at Molineux before hobbling off to be replaced by 16-year-old debutant Ki-Jana Hoever at centre-back.
His premature exit proved added cause for concern for the Reds as they continue to wait on the return of both Joe Gomez and Joel Matip from respective six-week layoffs.
Liverpool’s shortage of options at the back was further underlined by the use of Fabinho as a central defender and the introduction of Rafael Camacho as a make-shift right-back.
Klopp now faces a selection dilemma ahead of Saturday’s Premier League meeting with Brighton.
Discussing Lovren’s issue, he told Liverpoolfc.com: “[It is his] hamstring, is what I heard – without any signs before. I asked everybody, no signs, nothing, just out of the blue, so that’s the decision you have to make.”
The Liverpool boss was also left unsure as to how long Lovren will be missing for, with the Croatian set to undergo further examination upon the team’s return to Melwood.
Virgil van Dijk is a certainty to reclaim his starting spot at the weekend, whilst Fabinho could again be deployed in an unfamiliar centre-back role.
Despite Ki-Jana Hoever impressing on his senior bow, it may be too soon to hand the Dutchman his first Premier League start.
It will meanwhile be interesting to see how another defensive injury influences Klopp’s January transfer plans after the German recently played down talk of making any new signings this month.