Jürgen Klopp has confirmed Daniel Sturridge will miss Saturday's Premier League opener at Watford, but is set to come back into contention for next week's trip to Hoffenheim.
The striker is currently recovering from a thigh injury sustained during the Audi Cup clash with Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena last week.
However, Klopp has revealed Sturridge was ‘close’ to being involved in the squad for Vicarage Road tomorrow and will likely be ready to travel to Germany for the Champions League play-off first leg early next week.
The manager told his pre-Watford press conference at Melwood: “Daniel had a fantastic pre-season, but it was a little thing.
“He is close – he was already close for this weekend, but now for Tuesday it is pretty sure he is ready.”
Sturridge is one of four players Klopp won’t be able to call upon as Liverpool open their 2017-18 Premier League campaign.
Philippe Coutinho (back), Adam Lallana (thigh) and Nathaniel Clyne (back) are also ruled out.
Klopp continued: “Adam Lallana had this injury which is really unlucky for all of us. Clyney had a problem from the first day and now Phil with the back, so that makes it four players and that’s not too cool but now I have to make hard decisions because a few players really showed up in pre-season.
“Even [though] they are young and they have to prove their quality in the Premier League and all that stuff, that’s clear but even now I have to make hard decisions. But I could go into the season with this squad, that’s no problem – that’s what we will do and then we will see what happens by the 31st.”
Elsewhere, Jordan Henderson will return to the squad having sat out last weekend’s final pre-season friendly against Athletic Club due to illness.
“It was only not to go with any risk in Dublin,” explained Klopp. “The Doc told me he was not 100 per cent so we left him at home, but he was part of all sessions and was all good.”