Jurgen Klopp was horrified to learn that Liverpool sensation Mohamed Salah had sustained a hamstring injury while playing for Egypt in the Africa Cup of Nations.
Salah has missed just ten Premier League games in six and a half seasons at Liverpool.
Liverpool manager Klopp was astonished to find that his 31-year-old attacker had been substituted during Egypt’s 2-2 draw with Ghana on Thursday, given his stellar fitness record.
The German is now concerned about the seriousness of Salah’s injury and how long he will be out.
“In the moment, it was a shock. He felt it, and we all know how infrequently Mo needs to go off, so there must have been something,” Klopp told reporters on Friday.
“I don’t have any more information right now. I talked to him yesterday night. They are doing more evaluations, and we will learn more later.
After the game, Egypt coach Rui Vitoria expressed his optimism that Salah’s injury would not be a major issue, saying, “I think it’s not dangerous, but let’s see if Salah recovers.”
Klopp indicated that Liverpool would wait for more developments before choosing whether to send medical personnel to the Ivory Coast to check on Salah.
“It is too early. We’ll see. “It depends on the diagnosis,” he said.
“They (Egypt) will do an ultrasound and an MRI and then we will know what it is and what Egypt’s plans are.”
While Liverpool did not anticipate Salah to return from the Cup of Nations until early February, a long-term injury would be devastating as the Premier League leaders pursue the championship while still competing for the FA Cup, League Cup, and Europa League.
The Reds go to Bournemouth on Sunday hoping to increase their lead at the top to five points.
Salah, Wataru Endo, Kostas Tsimikas, Andrew Robertson, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joel Matip, Thiago Alcantara, Dominik Szoboszlai, and Stefan Bajcetic will be absent due to injury and international obligations, respectively.
Robertson, Alexander-Arnold, and Szoboszlai are most likely to return, maybe in Wednesday’s League Cup semi-final second leg against Fulham.
Liverpool leads 2-1 from their first encounter with the Cottagers at Anfield.
“They’re all enthusiastic, but not prepared. “They’re all getting closer and closer, and some of them may be in team training next week, but I don’t expect anyone to return for the Bournemouth game,” Klopp added.
“After Bournemouth, maybe Fulham; we’ll see how the guys go, but they’re all close. Trent, Dom, and Robbo are all close.