Liverpool midfielder Adam Lallana will miss Saturday’s Merseyside derby after sustaining a thigh injury while on international duty with England.
The 28-year-old started both of England’s recent games against Germany and Lithuania. He was withdrawn in the second-half of the friendly defeat in Dortmund but completed the full 90 minutes of the comfortable 2-0 World Cup qualification win over Lithuania.
However it is understood that Lallana sustained a kick to the leg during that match which prevented him from completing a training session at Melwood on Tuesday morning. Further examination by Liverpool’s medical team revealed a thigh injury which could rule the midfielder out for up to a month.
Liverpool have refused to put a timescale on Lallana’s recovery, although it appears likely he will miss vital Premier League matches against Bournemouth, Stoke and West Brom, as well as Saturday’s eagerly awaited derby match against Everton.
To make matters worse for manager Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson, who has not played since February 11 because of a foot injury, was also absent from training on Tuesday. He is also facing a race against time to be fit for the match.
The news will come as a bitter blow to Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp, given Lallana's superb performances in recent weeks.
"He is a very important player for us," Klopp said of Lallana after rewarding the player with a new £110k-a-week contract last month.
"I heard when I came in what a lot of people said about him before I came in but I actually only knew him from Southampton.
"Since I've been here he has been a really important player for all our development steps which we made - not only for him personally.
"I have a lot of time together with the players but I am not in the dressing room so you need to have players there too and he is one of them."