LIVERPOOL: Liverpool midfielder Fabinho will be out for more than a month after suffering ankle ligament damage during this week’s Champions League clash with Napoli, the club said on Friday.
The Brazilian, who has this season established himself as a first-choice pick for Jurgen Klopp’s Premier League leaders, was substituted after just 18 minutes of the 1-1 draw at Anfield on Wednesday.
Liverpool have announced that the 26-year-old will play no part in their congested run of 10 games between now and the end of December.
A club statement read: “Liverpool can confirm Fabinho suffered ankle ligament damage during the Champions League encounter with Napoli in midweek.”
“Further assessment on the injury has discovered Fabinho will be out of action until the New Year,” it added.
“The Brazilian will begin a rehabilitation program with the Reds’ medical team at Melwood as he works his way back to full fitness.”
Speaking at his pre-match press conference ahead of Saturday’s home game against Brighton, Klopp discussed Fabinho’s absence.
“Absolute bad news,” he said. “We are not 100 percent sure how long it will take but looks sure he will not take part in the Christmas fixtures.
“We have solutions for the position. We are not the only team with injuries. We have to find a solution and that’s what we will do.”
Adam Lallana, Jordan Henderson and Gini Wijnaldum were mentioned as possible stand-ins, with a reshuffle in the center likely, but Klopp admitted none represented a perfect like-for-like swap.
“Will the solution be exactly like Fabinho? No, because no one is like Fabinho,” he said.
Separately, Jadon Sancho was dropped from Borussia Dortmund’s starting lineup at Barcelona this week following another disciplinary problem, club officials said on Friday, but the English starlet is not being sold. Sancho did not start Wednesday’s Champions League game. He came on at half-time with Dortmund losing and scored a remarkable goal to make the final score 3-1 to Barca.
Dortmund general manager Michael Zorc said German press reports that the 19-year-old missed a team breakfast and morning warmup and arrived late for a talk by coach Lucien Favre, were wide of the mark.
“It’s not exactly that,” Zorc said Friday, but he did not deny there was an incident.
“We talked about it internally, with him and with the team. For us the case is closed, we look forward. Jadon is a normal player and part of the team.”
Sancho sent out a tweet on Thursday saying he had shown his committment on the field and intended to do so against Hertha Berlin at the weekend.
“Think I showed heart n desire last night anyway we will try our best to get the 3 points on Saturday!” wrote Sancho.
Zorc insisted the club were not about to be forced to sell Sancho.