Jurgen Klopp admits Liverpool have been preparing for Tuesday’s clash with Bayern Munich as if Dejan Lovren will still be unavailable.
The Croatian looks likely to miss the Reds’ Champions League Round of 16 first leg due to a hamstring injury sustained in the FA Cup defeat to Wolves on January 7.
He is yet to feature for Klopp’s side since, despite making the bench for the recent 1-1 draw with West Ham at the London Stadium.
An added setback in the aftermath of the trip to the capital confined him to an extended spell on the sidelines, as well as ruling him out of this week’s warm weather training camp in Marbella.
Touching on Lovren’s fitness, Klopp told Liverpoolfc.com: “I don’t want to rule it out but I cannot really plan with it.”
“He is not here for good reasons, because he cannot be part of training. We are back on Friday. Then from Saturday on, Dejan is back at Melwood and we will see.”
“But, of course, we have to prepare it differently. If Dejan gives a sign on Monday – ‘I feel brilliant’ – then we’d have to think anew.”
He added: “But in the moment we prepare the game and in this preparation Dejan is not involved. We have to find other solutions.”
With Virgil van Dijk meanwhile suspended for the game at Anfield, Fabinho once again finds himself in contention to start as a make-shift centre-back.
The Brazilian has already carried out the responsibility on two occasions so far this season, firstly in the FA Cup against Wolves and then in the 1-0 win away to Brighton in the Premier League.
Whilst his admirable performance in the latter proved he is more than up to the task, to lose him in midfield would be a frustrating disruption to Liverpool’s approach.
A barrage of defensive injuries of late has only reaffirmed the importance of Klopp adding another central defender to his ranks in the summer transfer window.