Jürgen Klopp has detailed the positive progress Joe Gomez is making as he closes in on a return to full fitness following knee surgery last November.
The centre-back has joined his teammates in parts of Liverpool’s training sessions at their pre-season base in Austria this week, alongside Virgil van Dijk, Joel Matip and Trent Alexander-Arnold.
The Reds’ medical team are carefully managing the schedules of the returning players, including Gomez, meaning they are also undertaking their own individual workouts away from the rest of the squad.
Asked if the England defender had suffered any reactions to re-joining team training this week, Klopp told Liverpoolfc.com: “Not at all. No setbacks at all. Not for Joe, nothing – he’s trained completely normal.
“That’s the thing, these boys are not injured anymore, they are just not at 100 per cent yet. There are usually setbacks but so far there were no setbacks with Joe and Virgil and nobody [else] – they are all fine.
“What they had to do they did, no reaction with the knee, nothing, all fine. The world wide web had obviously too much time.”
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Liverpool’s pre-season friendlies get under way on Tuesday with two 30-minute fixtures against FC Wacker Innsbruck and VfB Stuttgart, before facing FSV Mainz 05 on Friday.
Matip and Alexander-Arnold are in contention to return to the pitch this week, while Gomez and Van Dijk will continue to be assessed to determine when they can line up for the Reds this summer.
“It’s different [for each of them],” Klopp said. “I think there is absolutely no doubt Joel can play on Tuesday. Trent looks for me like [he can] but I will have to speak to the medical department and they will tell me if it is too early. I don’t think [it is], I think he could play a few minutes on Tuesday.
“Then, Joe and Virgil are in a similar situation – not exactly the same, but similar. Both have done parts of our normal training and then they have to do extra parts. Yesterday we had to do some sprints – hard sprints and these kind of things, which we didn’t do in the normal training – so they do extra stuff and sometimes a little bit less if the things what we are doing is too intense for them. They are getting closer and closer, that’s the impression we have.
“What they did in training so far worked really well and we will see when we can involve them in complete normal training – I don’t know that and I don’t rush it either. It makes no sense, we waited so long and now we can wait a few days longer, that’s no problem.”
Klopp confirmed Matip is the furthest along in his road to full fitness – and the centre-back went viral on social media on Friday when footage of him scoring two goals in training was published online.
The boss added: “I am not sure if we have it on camera, but when Joel scored the goal [in training], Pete Krawietz was standing next to me and said, ‘Good surgery!’ He is in good shape, wow.
“Joel Matip is this kind of player, who flourishes in the moment when he enters the pitch. I think nobody heard him saying a lot of things when he is stood next to the pitch, but when it is a game situation – whichever game it is – he is in.
“He missed that very much because he was out for a long time, but as I said before he was the closest of all the four long-term injuries. Trent is now in normal sessions as well and we’ll see what we do with that on Tuesday.”