Jurgen Klopp could be without one of his top performers for even longer than feared, with the German revealing he is "pretty sure" winger Sadio Mane will need surgery to fix a knee problem.
The £30million signing was pictured in a knee brace this week and there are now increasing fears that he could be out for the season with Klopp admitting his year would be "over" if he goes under the knife.
Losing Mane for the rest of the campaign could be disastrous for Liverpool's top-four hopes. Since joining the Anfield club last August he has missed just four Premier League games - but Liverpool have not won a single one of those fixtures.
Indeed, while he was at the African Cup of Nations in January, Liverpool drew at home to League Two Plymouth Argyle in the FA Cup, lost at home to Wolves in the same competition and were defeated home and away by Southampton in the EFL Cup semi-finals.
Mane has 13 goals and five assists in the league, but his contribution to the team has been far greater than that with his ability to beat players at speed and press from the front proving crucial in Klopp's system.
Adam Lallana is also unlikely to face Stoke this weekend, while Daniel Sturridge may be on the bench.
"Lallana is much better but isn't yet back training," Klopp said.
"Similar with Henderson. Sturridge is training and we will see."