James Pearce has revealed that Diogo Jota’s long-awaited return to the pitch has been delayed further due to Dr. Andreas Schlumberger’s insistence on players “doing extra work” before being allowed back fully on the training ground.
When touching on the subject of injuries in his pre-match presser, Jurgen Klopp confirmed that fans would have to wait a little while longer for the Portuguese, though he did admit the forward was “getting closer”.
“Six to eight weeks was the hope which would have put him back in action by late Jan/early Feb,” the journalist wrote in a Q&A for The Athletic. “However, it was always going to depend on how Jota responded to different stages of the rehab process.”
“Also since Andreas Schlumberger joined the staff in December, there’s been a greater focus on players who have done their rehab after injury doing extra work before being given the green light to return to full training,” Pearce added. “It’s all part of trying to ensure that when players come back from injury they don’t break down again.”
The rehab coach, who joined Liverpool’s backroom staff in December as the club’s new head of recovery and performance, previously worked with Klopp during his Borussia Dortmund days.
His compatriot was brought in with the purpose of enhancing the recovery period of injured players.
While Schlumberger’s preference for Jota to do “extra work” would appear to go against that perceived role, it does make a certain amount of sense for the long-term, ensuring that our sidelined stars return when they have the best chance of finishing the rest of the season.
Though Liverpool are arguably in desperate need of the extra firepower our No.20 provided prior to his injury, we’d much rather the certainty of the forward lasting throughout the remaining games.