Liverpool hope Fabinho will return sooner than initially feared after the results of his hamstring injury were revealed.
The Reds made it two wins from two to start their Champions League campaign as Midtjylland were brushed aside.
However, they lost stand in defender Fabinho to a hamstring injury. After the game, Jurgen Klopp was clearly cursing his luck, especially after Virgil van Dijk’s season-ending injury.
“It’s exactly the last thing we needed,” admitted the German.
“I know he felt a hamstring, and that’s not good. He said he could have played on but no sprints, which doesn’t help. We will see, we will know more after a scan.”
Liverpool were fearing the Brazilian had suffered a grade three hamstring tear – an injury that would have ruled him out for up to six months.
However, a scan has revealed that Fabinho’s issue is not so serious – and he could return to action after the next international break.
That will mean the midfielder is likely to miss just three games only. However, he does miss big ones with Premier League matches against West Ham and Manchester City on the horizon. There is also the small matter of the Champions League trip to face crack Italians Atalanta.
Klopp, though, does look light in the defensive area for Saturday’s clash with the Hammers.
Joel Matip looks unlikely to be risked for the game, having only just returned to light training this week.
But he has hinted the former Schalke defender could be back for next week’s clash with either Atalanta or City.
It means Klopp will likely turn to 19-year-old Rhys Williams again as a partner for Joe Gomez.
He stepped off the bench to replace Fabinho on Tuesday and impressed as Liverpool shut out the Danes.
Klopp has also hinted that more experienced defender Nathaniel Phillips could play a part on Saturday against the Hammers. The 23-year-old has just one senior appearance to his name at Liverpool. He spent a season on loan in the 2.Bundesliga last season with Stuttgart.
Barnes assesses Van Dijk injury
John Barnes, meanwhile, says Liverpool will need to be cruel to be kind as they look to get back on track in the title defence without Van Dijk.
Barnes says Klopp and co. need to stop the talk surrounding Van Dijk and concentrate on the players available to the German coach.
Barnes said “Losing a player like Virgil van Dijk is a huge loss for Liverpool but it depends on how much the team focuses on losing him for this season. If they spend too much time thinking about playing without him, then it will naturally become a negative factor.
“I remember when I was playing, whenever big players got injured it was always the Liverpool philosophy that the team is the most important thing, which is something that Jurgen Klopp has brought back.”