Jürgen Klopp has revealed that Jordan Henderson's latest injury lay-off could in fact be good news for Liverpool.
The captain was forced from the field an hour into last week's 1-0 win over Sunderland due to a recurrence of the heel pain that sidelined him earlier this season, missing Saturday's 2-0 defeat to West Ham United as a result.
However, speaking at his press conference ahead of Tuesday's Capital One Cup semi-final first-leg clash with Stoke City, Klopp was optimistic about Henderson's prognosis.
The German explained that his skipper's setback may even have relieved that troublesome pressure in his heel - though he warned it may take time to draw such a conclusion.
"We don't really know because we have to wait each day, each hour, each minute," Klopp said.
"The thing that happened with the tendon in the foot, it's good. It's painful but it's good.
"We hope that when the blood is out of the foot then the situation is solved but in this moment there is blood around the heel so it's not possible to train or to play.
"We hope it's not serious and we don't have to wait because we cannot do more. He's having treatment and, everything we can do to bring the blood out of the foot, we are doing.
"But we cannot rush more, it's time we need."
Klopp also confirmed that striker Daniel Sturridge will miss out on the clash with Mark Hughes' men at the Britannia Stadium.
The No.15 has, in the manager's words, been working through a 'mini pre-season' in recent weeks, but he will only be considered for a comeback once he has completed a number of consecutive training sessions.
The boss added: "Maybe you have the feeling that we trained now for three weeks with Daniel and say every day, 'more, more, more, more', and every day he's fitter and fitter and in the end I say, 'no, I wait'.
"It's not like this. Daniel had some problems in these weeks, not serious, but then he could not make the next session and we had to wait a day or something like this.
"[It's] how a pre-season can be. It's a pre-season without games so it should not happen too much but some little things happened, we always have to handle this.
"It's not a row of sessions and now we are here. I'm the first who will pick him when he's available, when he's ready for this, I will never hold him back.
"In this moment because he didn't have one session with the team, which was the usual plan for this week, he's not available.
"What we are trying to do now is to fill his body with energy and strength and everything, that's what we have to do.
"It would be easy for me to say, 'come on, let's try, we have problems, we don't score enough goals, bring him and let's see what happens', but that's where we have to be patient. We have to wait."
Klopp went on to admit that he has little room for manoeuvre when it comes to squad rotation ahead of Tuesday's game, with a spate of injuries having made it hard for him to freshen things up.
He explained: "We don't have that much opportunity for [changes]. It's not that we have six, seven, eight players to change in this moment, we have always all the squad with us.
"We first of all have to react to the impact the last game had on the players then we have to decide. At the end, it's always that we go to this game and want to win and for this we make the squad.
"I cannot ignore the situation in the team after this number of games so we have to wait a little bit and use each hour.
"The session today is not a real season, it's only two days after the game. So, for sure, it's not possible to make an intensive training.
"I have to talk to Andy [Massey], the doctor, to Chris [Morgan], our head of physiotherapy, and we have to make decisions together."
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