Jurgen Klopp confirms Liverpool will be without Luis Diaz for second leg rescue mission at Real Madrid, insisting he ‘has to be patient’ over Colombian’s return after long-term knee injury
- Luis Diaz is set to miss Liverpool’s Champions League clash with Real Madrid
- The Colombian international badly damaged his knee against Arsenal in October
- Jurgen Klopp hopes Diaz can return for the final 11 or 12 games of the campaign
Luis Diaz is set to miss Liverpool’s rescue mission against Real Madrid after Jurgen Klopp confirmed the influential forward is not yet able to train.
The Colombia international had a huge impact in the second half of last season following his £50million move from Porto but he has not had the opportunity to take that promise to a higher level this year; he has not played since damaging his knee at Arsenal on October 9.
Diaz was recently given the opportunity to increase the intensity of his rehabilitation programme and Klopp has watched the 26-year-old closely. He is twisting and turning again and there have been no signs of any setbacks, unlike the one he suffered during a pre-Christmas training camp in Dubai.
Klopp still expects Diaz to have an input as Liverpool – who face Wolves this evening – try to hunt down a top four place but, as things stand, the manager does not foresee a situation where he will be able to use his number 23 in the second leg against Madrid in the Bernabeu.
‘It’s a different situation to last season,’ said Klopp. ‘He came here having played all the games for Porto pretty much and now he’s out with an injury for the second time. I can tell you the two sessions he had with us in Dubai, it was like: “Oh my God, how good is that!”
Luis Diaz will not be available for Liverpool’s clash against Real Madrid, confirms Jurgen Klopp
Mohamed Salah and Liverpool were thumped 5-2 in their Champions League first leg last week
‘Then he was injured again. When he is back, he will be really good and very impactful, of course. That is clear. How quickly, I don’t know. We have to see. That’s the big challenge in these moments. There’s no time for being patient but you have to be patient.
‘I’m positive about him that there’s a good chance to have a real impact in 10, 11, 12 games maybe. We will see how long it exactly takes. It’s estimated that maybe next week he will be warming up with the team and then maybe a week later being in team training. That would be cool.’
He added a warning, though, saying: ‘But you always have to wait. On Tuesday I saw a very intense session, a lot of change of direction and stuff like this. If there is no reaction from that, then he can make the next step. Then I think he is not too far away.’
Klopp does not believe the gap between Liverpool and the top four is insurmountable but the importance of atoning for the defeat Wolves inflicted four weeks ago should not be forgotten and he has made it clear there are no margins for error.
Klopp urged that he ‘has to be patient’ with the Colombian, who is doing well in rehab sessions
‘I really think we are ready,’ said Klopp. ‘If there is a club that can do it I really think it is us.
‘Honestly. Because all the things we achieved these last years we achieved together, neither without the team nor without the crowd. Nothing.
‘We have a future together: the immediate future from tomorrow on but there is a bigger picture as well.
‘We will strike back in general but now we have to make sure that we really squeeze everything out of this season that we can get.’
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