Jurgen Klopp has given an update on Liverpool forward Takumi Minamino, who will be ‘very important’ for the Reds throughout January.
Minamino made his first appearance in over two weeks during Liverpool’s 4-1 FA Cup win over Shrewsbury Town on Sunday. He came off the bench at half time to gain some important minutes following an unknown injury.
The Japan international, 26, could start in the Premier League and Carabao Cup as Klopp is without Mo Salah and Sadio Mane due to the Africa Cup of Nations.
The German needs Minamino to step up alongside Roberto Firmino and Diogo Jota.
When asked about Minamino, Klopp told reporters: “Taki was injured. Nothing serious but serious enough that he couldn’t play.
“It’s not the longest rehab in his life hopefully – or maybe it was the longest rehab hopefully.
“But he is back and very important for us, very, very important – especially when we have a lot of games coming up and we know that two of our main guys up front are not here.
“It’s good. I liked Taki a lot when he came on (as a substitute). He’s actually in a really good shape but, of course, the injury interrupted it slightly.
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“But now he’s back, it’s good and we need him desperately.”
Klopp has also provided an update on Spanish midfielder Thiago. The 30-year-old has been out with Covid in recent weeks but is also struggling with an injury.
Klopp said: “It is something around the hip. That is the situation – he needs time. He didn’t train this week but we expect him to start rehab from Monday.
“It’s not the case that he is out until the end of season.”
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Meanwhile, Loris Karius could leave Anfield in January, according to Liverpool coach John Achterberg.
The keeper has spent the last three seasons away on loan, at Besiktas and Union Berlin respectively.
He is back on Merseyside but is behind Alisson, Adrian and Caoimhin Kelleher in Klopp’s plans.
During an interview with The Athletic, Achterberg said of Karius: “In the end it’s down to him, his agent and the club to try to find a solution. Hopefully there will be one this month.
“It doesn’t help anyone to sit for another six months without the feeling that you are really fighting for something. That’s not going to improve him.
“He needs to use his quality to make a career now. Loris has a lot of good qualities.”