Jurgen Klopp told reporters at the club’s pre-West Brom press conference that Thiago Alcantara “will not be involved” in the upcoming tie on Sunday.
The cultured midfielder had recently returned to training at Kirkby mid-week, with Reds fans hopeful of his return for the Baggies visit to Merseyside.
"Thiago made his first steps back towards team training. Not involved in full session, but he made good steps. We cannot rush it.
"The other guys (Shaqiri/Milner) are further. Thiago will not be involved (vs WBA) but he's not too far away I hope."#LFC
— Neil Jones (@neiljonesgoal) December 24, 2020
It’s not entirely unexpected, particularly given how long the Spaniard has been out on the sidelines, though it is no less disappointing.
The purchase of Thiago from Bayern Munich in the Summer was deemed to be the next step in the evolution of this already impressive Liverpool side, as Klopp looks to broaden the club’s threat and keep the competition guessing.
As much as the No.6 would improve our chances against a side that is likely to try and soak up the pressure and nick a goal on the break, we have to consider the wellbeing of the player and the potential for inviting another lengthy injury period.
Given the 29-year-old’s recent return from his layoff, it’s not really a risk Klopp can take if we hope to have the former Bundesliga star available for much of the remaining season.
We’re gutted we’re not going to see him on Sunday, but there’s still more than enough firepower available to take all three points.