Joel Matip is facing a race against time to be fit for Liverpool’s showdown against Manchester United next month as the extent of his injury emerged.
Matip is expected to be out for three weeks with the adductor injury he suffered during Sunday’s 1-1 Premier League draw at home to struggling West Bromwich Albion.
Rhys Williams, the 19-year-old teenager, replaced Matip against the Baggies, while Nat Phillips was preferred in Wednesday’s goalless draw at Newcastle United.
And when asked about Matip’s condition after the match on Tyneside, Klopp said: “The normal for this kind of injury is round about three weeks.”
Liverpool’s next game is at Southampton on Monday evening, after which the Reds are at Aston Villa on the following Friday in the FA Cup third round.
They then entertain second-placed Manchester United on January 17, exactly three weeks after Matip suffered the injury.
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Centre-back duo Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez are already sidelined with long-term knee injuries, with Fabinho having deputised as a makeshift centre-back.
It is understood Liverpool are at present unlikely to move for a new centre-back during the January transfer window.