Jurgen Klopp has confirmed that Ibrahima Konate will be unavailable for Liverpool’s clash against Aston Villa this Sunday as he continues to recover from a muscle injury, while also providing an update on a handful of other stars.
Konate was absent for Liverpool’s dramatic comeback win against Newcastle United last weekend, and while he has made progress in his rehabilitation, he has not recovered enough to be in contention against Villa this weekend.
“No, Ibou [Konate] will not be ready for the game,” Klopp confirmed to reporters at his pre-match press conference on Friday morning, via Liverpoolfc.com.
As a result, Liverpool have just two senior centre backs fit and available for the visit of Unai Emery’s side. With Virgil van Dijk suspended and Konate injured, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip are the only remaining options, though 20-year-old Jarell Quansah is likely to be involved again, having made his first-team debut off the bench against Newcastle.
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Klopp also gave an insight into the recoveries of midfield duo Curtis Jones and Thiago Alcantara.
The Reds manager provided a positive update on Jones, citing the Englishman’s return to full training in the past week.
Thiago, on the other hand, has suffered another setback in his lengthy spell on the sidelines, with Klopp now hopeful that the Spaniard is on course to finally make his long-awaited return from a hip injury after the September international break.
“Curtis is back in training fully. Thiago not,” Klopp said. “Thiago had a little setback. [He] started training with the team and then had a little setback, so we have to slow down there a little bit.
“It’s not cool for him, it’s not cool for us but it’s how it is. Thiago will use the international break for that then obviously to be up to speed, I’m pretty sure that should be hopefully enough for him then.”
As of now, everyone else – including Stefan Bajcetic – is available for Sunday’s fixture, Klopp confirmed.