Jürgen Klopp has revealed the expected length of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's injury lay-off and detailed the agreed approach taken to his rehabilitation by the club, player and manager.
The Liverpool midfielder is likely to miss the vast majority of the 2018-19 season and competitive game time before the end of the campaign would be a bonus.
Oxlade-Chamberlain sustained multiple ligament damage when attempting a tackle during the first half of the Champions League tie with AS Roma at Anfield in April.
The 24-year-old underwent surgery eight days after suffering the injury – his only operation – which was a complete success.
The estimated length of his lay-off was not revealed at the time at the request of Oxlade-Chamberlain, who did not want the news to distract from the Reds’ ongoing Champions League run and the excitement surrounding it.
His rehabilitation remains in line with the timeframe outlined following his surgery.
“It feels like now is an appropriate time to tell people that for Ox this coming season will be about focusing on recovery and rehab,” Klopp told Liverpoolfc.com.
“We have known this from pretty much the day after he got the injury and after the successful surgery, we were sure of it. I hope everyone treats this information responsibly. There has been no change, no setback – it’s exactly on the schedule we expected and planned for. The new information is that we’re now giving more detail publicly.
“It is typical of Ox that he didn’t want the news to overshadow the end of the season and, to be quite honest, we thought we could wait and tell people at an appropriate time.
“His surgery – which he had on the day of our second leg in Roma – has been completely successful and his recovery has started superbly well.
“But the truth of the matter is that we are preparing this season knowing he will not be with us on the pitch for competitive matches for the majority of it. If we do see him back this season it will be a bonus.”
The decision to provide further detail on Oxlade-Chamberlain’s recovery at this time was made with a view to alleviating any unrealistic pressure on a return date for the No.21.
Klopp, the club and the player himself are in total agreement on ensuring his rehabilitation is right rather than rushed, with the future firmly in mind.
“It is so important – because of how valuable and important he is to what we are looking to do here in the coming seasons – that the focus is on doing this right and not rushed. Ox is completely on board with this approach,” added the manager.
“He is such an outstandingly good person and someone who even when not playing is integral to the heartbeat of Melwood.
“I cannot wait to have him back with us for matches, but we will wait for him and we will show the patience that is required to make sure he comes back ready to continue where he left off: as one of the most outstanding performers in European football in that moment.”