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Matip returns to Liverpool training after one-month injury layoff

3:13 AM SGT 12/11/22
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has confirmed that defender Joel Matip has returned to training after a one-month injury layoff.
  • Matip back in training but will miss Southampton match
  • Defender was out for one month with a calf problem
  • Naby Keita back on his feet but far from returning

WHAT HAPPENED? Cameroon defender Matip suffered a calf injury during Liverpool’s 3-2 loss to Arsenal on October 9, leaving the pitch in the second half as the Reds fell to the Gunners at the Emirates Stadium.

WHAT DID KLOPP SAY? "Joel trained with us. He was in pretty much the whole session," Klopp told reporters during his pre-match press conference on Friday.

"But the last bit he didn’t do. He is available as well, or would be available but has only trained once with the team."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: The defender is a key member of Klopp’s side and has been missed in the last month when Liverpool kept just two clean sheets in five Premier League games.

Saturday’s game against Southampton, however, comes too soon for the 31-year-old who will likely have to wait until after the World Cup to play again given he is not part of the Indomitable Lions squad heading to Qatar.

Injuries have hampered the former Schalke centre-back since his move to Merseyside in 2016 but he enjoyed one of his most uninterrupted seasons in 2021-22, featuring in 43 matches in all competitions, including 31 in the Premier League.

In his absence, Klopp has paired Virgil van Dijk with either Joe Gomez or Ibrahima Konate with eighth-placed Liverpool struggling to find consistency in the league.

WHAT’S MORE? Klopp also gave some positive updates on Guinea midfielder Naby Keita who has been out for most of the season with an injury.

“Nobody is out from the players who were available in midweek or for the last [Premier League] game,” he said.

“Milly [James Milner] is back in training today [Friday]. Naby is out and running and Lucho [Luis Dias] is back on the pitch and running."

WHAT’S NEXT? Liverpool host Southampton in their next Premier League game before the World Cup and will be hoping for victory in their quest to get in contention for a top-four place.