Jurgen Klopp has confirmed Naby Keita is on the verge of a first-team return, though will not be back in time to face Aston Villa on Friday night.
The boss also issued an update on Diogo Jota, who is still ‘a few weeks away’ from returning to the fold.
Keita‘s time on Merseyside has been ravaged by injuries and various issues have limited him to just two league starts since October. He played 90 minutes of the 7-0 mauling of Crystal Palace and was due to feature against West Brom a week later, but a minor injury sustained earlier in the season re-emerged and he was replaced by Curtis Jones on the team-sheet.
When asked if Keita could be back soon, Klopp told the Liverpool website: “Yes, soon, but not for the Villa game.”
As for Jota, the Portuguese forward exploded into life following his October arrival from Wolves and netted nine goals in his first 17 appearances, before he took a blow to the knee late on in the 1-1 draw with FC Midtjylland.
The early prognosis suggested he would be sidelined until late February at the earliest, but Klopp refused to be drawn on a date, saying only that he remains ‘a few weeks away’ from a return to training.
“It will still take time, he is still wearing a brace, so that means he is still a few weeks away from team training,” he said.
“There is nothing really to say, it takes time. There was no surgery needed, which was good, but it was a proper injury.
“It is not a little knock or something, it will still take time. There is no real time-frame there.”