Mohamed Salah's injury blow is a shock to Liverpool's system, according to Michael Owen, with the Egyptian set for around a month on the sidelines.
Salah, 31, suffered a hamstring injury during Egypt's 2-2 draw against Ghana on January 18 at the Africa Cup of Nations in the Ivory Coast.
The player's agent, Ramy Abbas Issa, delivered the bad news on Monday January 22, revealing that his client's injury was likely to sideline him for more time than initially expected.
"Mohammed’s [sic] injury is more serious than first thought and he will be out for 21-28 days, and not 2 games," the agent said.
"His best chance at participating in the current AFCON is by undergoing intensive rehabilitation in the UK and rejoining the team as soon as he is fit."
Liverpool would have expected Salah to miss around eight matches when the player departed for AFCON, with Egypt among the pre-tournament favourites to progress to the latter stages. The final takes place on February 11.
However, Salah's latest injury blow means he could now be out of action beyond that date with Liverpool heavily favoured to reach the Carabao Cup final on February 25.
The Reds play Fulham in the semi-final second leg on January 24 and lead 2-1 on aggregate.
“Mo Salah simply doesn’t get injured, does he?! So, it’s a bit of a shock to the system, at the moment," Owen told Premier League Productions.
“It’s not the worst of runs for Liverpool. This Arsenal game could be a real tough one. You think they could comfortably win the other games. Chelsea at home isn’t easy. But you think they could win the other games without a Mo Salah.
“Of course, the League Cup final could be a huge game as well. You would like to think, by all reports, that he would be back for that. But hamstring injuries are notorious, you don’t want to re-injure yourself. Kevin de Bruyne did earlier on in the season. I did it many times.
“Of course, when you are going for the title and you are so important like Mo Salah is, then you don’t want to be missing any games.”