Liverpool injury updates & return dates – who's out of Man Utd clash?

The gruelling winter schedule has taken its toll on Jurgen Klopp's team.

Liverpool sit top of the Premier League table after 16 games – and still in the cups – after a promising start to 2023/24. However, that early success as come at a cost, with the Reds having to contend with a number of injury concerns along the way.

Defensive stalwarts Andy Robertson and Joel Matip are longer-term absentees, as are Spanish midfield duo Thiago and Stefen Bajcetic. Meanwhile Alexis Mac Allister and Diogo Jota look set to miss the showdown with Manchester United this weekend.

It's a familiar story across the Premier League – the Reds' weekend opponents United look set to be without up to 13 stars for the trip to Anfield – with absences at unprecedented levels amid fixture congestion and increased schedules.

Here's a rundown of everyone who is currently out of action for Liverpool and when they could return.


Alexis Mac Allister

What initially appeared to be a relatively minor cut to Mac Allister's knee suffered in the win over Sheffield United now appears far more serious, with Klopp providing squeamish detail of the injury ahead of Liverpool's trip to Belgium to take on Union Saint-Gilloise.

"It's a bit more tricky than we thought in the first moment," the boss told reporters. "So, the other boy stepped on his knee and the stud went through the muscle onto the bone. Now we have to wait until the bone is healed and until Macca can deal with the pain. It's pretty painful and Macca is actually a super tough guy, so we have to make sure there's no infection - that's important.

"I've never had this injury for one of my players before but now we have it. I'd like to think it won't take that long but I'd like to say it's day by day. That would look like maybe he could play the next game but he will not be ready for that as well. But I hope the next three or four days he makes big steps and then we will see."

Potential return: Liverpool vs West Ham (20/12)

Joel Matip

Joel Matip, ProShots

Joel Matip, ProShots

Matip is highly unlikely to feature again in 2023/24 after suffering a ruptured ACL.

It's a devastating injury for the 32-year-old, who is also in the final year of his Liverpool contract.

More positively, Liverpool have confirmed that surgery on Matip's injured knee was a success, while Klopp has even hinted that a contract extension could be in the works.

Potential return: Unknown

Diogo Jota

Diogo Jota and Rayan Ait-Nouri, ProShots

Jota was a casualty of Liverpool's 1-1 draw away at Manchester City at the end of last month, along with Alisson, who suffered a similar muscular issue in the same game.

While the Reds' first-choice keeper has since returned, Jota remains out for the time being, with Klopp relatively coy on a specific return timeline.

The manager has revealed that his Portuguese forward has started running on grass again, suggesting his return is not particularly far off.

With the games coming thick and fast and Mohamed Salah's AFCON absence coming up, Jota will be more important than ever for Liverpool.

Asked about how he would cope without Salah next month, Klopp said: "I didn’t think about it to be honest and I can’t change it anyw. I have no real plans for it. It’s January, right? I hope Diogo is back then."

Potential return: Liverpool vs Arsenal (23/12)

Andy Robertson

Andy Robertson, ProShots

Robertson underwent surgery after dislocating his shoulder during the October international break, with the left-back expected to be sidelined for a significant period of time.

The initial timeframe for his injury was three to four months, meaning Robertson won't be back until next year.

A recent report claims Robertson has stepped up his recovery at the AXA centre, but Liverpool remain cautious about his reintegration into team training activities.

Potential return: January 2024

Thiago

Yet to play a single minute in 2023/24, setbacks following hip surgery at the end of last season have complicated Thiago's return to action for Liverpool.

Last month Klopp gave his boldest prediction on the midfielder's comeback, revealing: "It's an ongoing thing and we cannot put any kind of pressure on there as well. We expect him to be back - and I would say probably the start of the new year."

Thiago did spark a burst of excitement amongst fans this week, when he shared a photo of himself walking into training, perhaps hinting he may be near a return.

The playmaker was also spotted in the group photo celebrating Mohamed Salah's 200 goals for the club.

Potential return: January 2024

Stefan Bajcetic

Stefan Bajcetic - Propaganda

Stefan Bajcetic - Propaganda

Like his countryman Thiago, Bajcetic has endured a hugely frustrating season so far.

The youngster was primed to build on a breakthrough campaign last season, but has struggled to get over his injury issues.

The 19-year-old midfielder started in the Europa League against LASK and featured in the Carabao Cup win over Leicester, but he has been absent since September, with a reoccurrence of old issues.

No fixed timeframe has been set for his return, with Klopp saying: "No, we don’t know [when he will be back]. With Stefan it’s, again, one of these things. Stefan’s quality, potential, talent, everybody could see and it’s incredible – what a player – but the body was not ready yet.

"They are still growing these boys and they are all different; we have other players with a different skeleton, a different body where OK that’s fine and for other players it is a bit too early. We just have to put the brake on again and just wait until that’s all fine.

"Then Liverpool FC has a wonderful player to use, but there is absolutely no time that we can put on that and we will not. We just have to wait."

Potential return: Unknown

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