Injury nightmare for Liverpool as key defender Gomez faces surgery
Liverpool centre-back Joe Gomez is set to undergo surgery as he struggles to recover from a lower leg fracture.
The England international has been missing since suffering the blow against Burnley on December 5.
The 21-year-old had built up an outstanding partnership with talisman Virgil Van Dijk and is a huge miss for his title-chasing side, who are left with Dejan Lovren and Joel Matip, who have both had injury concerns of their own, as potential partners for VVD.
The club have confirmed that Gomez is 'likely' to play again this season but fans, frustrated by the complications of an injury that was originally due to keep the defender out for just six weeks, will be hugely concerned ahead of the crucial Premier League run-in.
Liverpool have conceded eight goals in nine Premier League games since Gomez' injury, compared to only five in the 12 Premier League games he started this season.
No time-scale has this time been put on Gomez' return.
“It’s a blow for the boy and for us - because prior to the injury he was in such fantastic shape," said Jurgen Klopp.
“But he is too valuable to take any risk with, both for our present and future, so we get this procedure done and he comes back when he’s ready.
“His attitude during this rehab has been outstanding but it just hasn’t healed as we’d have liked so we will make this intervention and then he will come back.”
Gomez's Liverpool career has been dogged by injuries since he joined from Charlton in 2015. He suffered an ACL injury just months after arriving at Anfield and was then troubles by Achilles tendonitis among other problems.
“Obviously being out for longer than we’d first hoped for is hard to swallow but it’s part and parcel of the industry," he said. "It was an injury caused by an impact, like nearly all the injuries I’ve had in my career, so I know it’s just a case of when it’s fully healed I’m good to go again.
“The hardest part is not being able to help the team and contribute on the pitch at the moment, so it’s important I come back ready to go and this procedure will help with that. My only focus is getting back for Liverpool as soon as possible and I can promise the supporters I’ll be working hard every day to do that.”
Liverpool are just two points ahead of Manchester City and four clear of Tottenham ahead of the Reds' trip to West Ham tonight.
Belfast Telegraph Digital