Captain Jordan Henderson of Liverpool fears that the groin injury he picked up in the recent 2-0 loss to Everton will hold him for some weeks on the sidelines.
Henderson managed only 29 minutes of the game before going down with the injury as a center back for the sixth game in a row – the fourth time this season the England international has picked up an issue.
Klopp described Henderson’s predicament as ‘not healthy’ after the game, and those fears were backed up by The Times, who noted that initial scans had already effectively ruled him out of the Champions League last 16-second leg against RB Leipzig on 10 March.
Henderson is also worried that he may be out for much longer and could be in doubt about his place in Gareth Southgate’s England squad for the World Cup qualifiers at the end of March.
Between March 25 and 31, Southgate’s side faces San Marino, Albania, and Poland, but Henderson is worried that he may not be back in time to feature, or at least not have enough time to demonstrate his fitness beforehand.
Although Southgate, however, has a massive talent pool from which to pluck an alternative to Henderson, Klopp does not have the same luxury and would be saddened to see another emergency defender with an injury ruled out.
First reserve Fabinho has also been out in recent weeks with a hamstring injury, leaving Henderson to play alongside signing Ozan Kabak in January.
After Henderson’s injury, Klopp decided to bring on young Nat Phillips, snubbing new arrival Ben Davies, who has yet to play for Liverpool since joining Preston North End in a deal worth £ 1.6 million in the area.
The third and final choice for the boss is 20-year-old Rhys Williams, who may well feature in Liverpool’s next game in some capacity, a visit to Bramall Lane on February 28 to face Sheffield United.
Klopp is hoping the return leg against Leipzig would not be too troublesome for his side, who in the first fixture roared to a 2-0 victory away from home. However, the boss can certainly not take anything for granted with his defense so stretched and Liverpool in such a tricky patch.