Joe Gomez has broken his silence to send Liverpool and their supporters a positive message following the knee surgery that is likely to end his season.
The Liverpool centre-back ruptured the patella tendon while training with England on Wednesday. He has now had a successful procedure to repair the problem.
The Reds have confirmed there was no ligament damage, but did not put a timescale on his return.
A statement on Liverpool’s website read: “The operation to correct the damage, which took place in London on Thursday morning, was a success and the 23-year-old will make a full recovery.
“Gomez will begin a rehabilitation programme with the Reds’ medical team immediately, with club staff carefully monitoring his progress.
“No timescale is being placed upon his return, though the issue is likely to rule him out for a significant part of the remainder of 2020-21.”
Speaking for the first time since undergoing the surgery, Gomez has vowed to return ‘stronger than ever’.
Sadly, it’s not the first time Gomez has suffered a bad injury and he has vowed to draw on those experiences.
“The road to recovery has already begun,” Gomez wrote on Twitter. “I’ve been here before, I know what it takes and I’ll be back better and stronger than ever.
“I’m obviously gutted, but this is a part of God’s plan and I believe everything happens for a reason.
“I’d like to thank everyone for their well wishes and messages of support.
“I’m focussed on my recovery and supporting my team mates in every way I can. See you soon.”
Southgate reveals awkward conversation with Klopp
The news is a huge blow to Liverpool, who were already without Virgil van Dijk to an ACL injury.
With Joel Matip and Fabinho also nursing knocks, Gomez’s setback leaves Liverpool seriously light in the centre of defence.
It was left to Gareth Southgate to explain to Klopp exactly what had happened with Gomez. The England boss phoned Klopp on Wednesday night.
Asked by ITV Sport how Klopp responded to the news, Southgate was giving little away.
“I had a long chat with Jurgen last night, we’re all worried about player welfare,” Southgate said.
To lose a player in the way we did yesterday – for us and Liverpool, but most importantly for the boy – was really tragic.
“I said to him, ‘there needs to be a look at the calendar’. We’ve fortunate in that we’ve got the six subs tonight – and five for the Nations League games. We’ve got to try and lessen the load as much as we can for the players.”
Asked how Klopp reacted and if he accepted what had happened to Gomez, Southgate shifted uncomfortably and appeared to shrug his shoulders.
Indeed, few would blame Klopp given Liverpool’s current predicament.
Contemplating his answer and puffing out his cheeks, Southgate responded: “Unfortunately the injury was so unique in how it happened, we know it was just a consequence of the number of games really.
“Wherever he had been, there is a chance that could have happened. So, we were on the same page. We think the welfare of the players is critical.”