Liverpool FC News Recap: Salah injury latest, Robertson return & Gomez's first goal motivation

Liverpool assistant manager Pep Lijnders has hit back at criticism of Mohamed Salah, as the winger returned to Merseyside to continue treatment on his hamstring injury.

The 31-year-old left the Egypt national team at the Africa Cup of Nations on Monday night, with a plan in place for his possible return to Ivory Coast later in the tournament if he recovers well.

Salah sustained a hamstring issue in Egypt's clash with Ghana last Thursday and while it was initially presumed the knock was relatively minor, it has since been revealed the Liverpool No. 11 could need up to 28 days to recover.

The decision for Salah to undergo treatment back in Liverpool rather than in Ivory Coast with his national team has drawn criticism from some, but Lijnders has dismissed suggestions Salah is not committed to his national team.

"You should never doubt the commitment of Mo Salah," he told reporters.

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Salah injury 'LARGER' than feared

Salah 'did not want' to leave the Africa Cup of Nations to return to Liverpool, Egypt's national team doctor Mohamed Abu Al-Ela has said. However, it was a joint decision to send the forward back to Merseyside.

Mohamed Salah talks to an Egypt teammate in the dugout after suffering an injury during the Africa Cup of Nations match against Ghana.

Mohamed Salah, ProShots

He told the On Time Sports channel: “Mohamed Salah suffers from a second-degree hamstring muscle strain. When the Football Association issued the first statement that Salah would be absent for only two matches, we had only conducted one X-ray on Salah, but after the second X-ray we found that it was larger."

He also said that it was agreed that "treatment at Liverpool would be better", while adding that Salah himself did not want to leave his teammates.

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Andy Robertson is BACK

Andy Robertson will be part of the Liverpool squad to face Fulham on Wednesday, it has been confirmed.

The left back has been out of action for three months after dislocating his shoulder on international duty with Scotland back in October.

Speaking in his pre-match press conference ahead of the Carabao Cup semi-final second leg away against Fulham, Lijnders revealed the news that Robertson is fit again to take part in first-team duties and will be part of the squad to travel to London.

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Positive updates on other injury concerns

Meanwhile, Lijnders also gave positive updates on some of the Liverpool's other injured stars, revealing that Curtis Jones sustained no lasting damage despite a precautionary substitution in the Reds' win over Bournemouth at the weekend.

Curtis Jones, ProShots

Trent Alexander-Arnold and Dominik Szoboszlai are pencilled in for comebacks in the weekend's FA Cup clash against Norwich, while Kostas Tsimikas too is closing in on a return in the near future.

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Gomez gets banter from Klopp over goal drought

Joe Gomez has played 201 matches for Liverpool since joining from Charlton Athletic, eight and a half years ago, but has yet to score a goal.

The defender's barren run has become a lighthearted talking point in recent weeks and the 11-time England international has revealed that even manager Jurgen Klopp has got in on the act.

Speaking to the official We Are Liverpool podcast this week, Gomez said: “I score in training! I get some in training. I don’t know, it’s weird because obviously eight years it’s never been that apparent, and now suddenly even the gaffer gave me a bit.

“He said he’d give my wife some money if I scored!”

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Diomande links dismissed

Fabrizio Romano has poured cold water on the Liverpool links to Ousmane Diomande, following reports that the Reds could make a move for the Sporting CP defender.

Ousmane Diomande of Sporting Lisbon

Ousmane Diomande, Sporting CP

Writing in his CaughtOffside column, Romano reported: “Diomande is a fantastic centre back, he can be an excellent addition for any club. But, despite links with Liverpool, I’m not aware of movement around Diomande now, honestly.

“He’s been linked with ten clubs but there is nothing concrete on Sporting’s table so far.”

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Big changes or strongest lineup for Carabao Cup second leg?

Liverpool have the chance to book their place in the first cup final of the season on Wednesday.

The Reds already have one foot in the Carabao Cup final, travelling to Craven Cottage with a 2-1 advantage from the semi-final first leg at Anfield earlier this month.

Nothing can be taken for granted though and Jurgen Klopp and co only need look over at the other semi between Middlesbrough and Chelsea for an example of how things can go against the odds.

Liverpool also have a host of injury and availability issues to contend with, while there is the FA Cup at the weekend and ongoing title race to think about.

Keeping everyone fit and happy, while putting out the best possible side, becomes a harder task with each game.

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