Liverpool dealt Joel Matip injury blow with defender facing up to six weeks out with knee problem

David Lynch
Getty Images

Joel Matip is set for an extended spell on the sidelines after suffering a setback in his recovery from a knee injury.

The defender has featured in just one of Liverpool’s last five fixtures - the 1-1 draw with Manchester United on October 20.

His absence from the two games prior to that visit to Old Trafford was put down to a knee knock sustained at Sheffield United.

And Jurgen Klopp revealed in his press conference ahead of last week’s win over Genk that the defender has suffered a recurrence of the issue.

He said: “It is just a little thing which usually settles in the two weeks.

Matip has suffered a setback in his recovery from a knee injury Photo: Getty Images

“It did [settle], but then it came up after the United game and so now we just have to make sure this time it settles finally, that’s all.

“It is not a massive injury, it’s just a bit annoying for him and he cannot [face Genk].”

The German was initially optimistic that a brief period of rest would see Matip back to full fitness, but that no longer appears to be the case.

Standard Sport understands Matip could now actually be facing up to six weeks out of action.

That would rule the 28-year-old out of as many as 10 fixtures, including the upcoming visit of Manchester City to Anfield, a home Merseyside derby, and all three remaining Champions League group-stage games.

Klopp has used Joe Gomez and Dejan Lovren when Matip was previously injured Photo: AFP/Getty Images

A prolonged absence for Matip would provide further opportunities to Klopp’s back-up options at centre-half.

Dejan Lovren has taken on the role of deputy in recent games, starting alongside Virgil van Dijk against both Genk and Tottenham Hotspur.

However, Klopp has hinted that Joe Gomez is ready to push for further starts in the future after getting back to full fitness.

He told Sky Sports: "Joe is completely back. He knows that, it’s just how it is sometimes. He was not in his 100 per cent best shape. Now he’s back."