With the 222nd Merseyside Derby looming just over the horizon, Reds boss Brendan Rodgers has given Liverpool supporters a mixed bag of injury news with confirmation that midfielder Joe Allen was on the training pitch today, but also conceding that defender Mamadou Sakho is still almost a month away from returning to action.
The French defender, signed on transfer deadline day from mega-rich Ligue 1 side Paris St-Germain, pulled up with a hamstring injury in the closing stages of Liverpool’s 2-1 loss to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge over the festive period. While it was initially thought that the “Parisian Mountain” was on the mend, Rodgers put a damper on any hopes of seeing him line up against Everton at Anfield tomorrow.
“Sakho won’t be available” was Rodgers blunt assessment of the likelihood of the 23-year old playing some part in the Derby . “He’s still two to three weeks away yet with his injury.” This almost certainly signals a starting pair of Martin Skrtel and Kolo Toure in the heart of the Reds defence as the Northern Irishman is forced to keep many of the same players that featured in the 2-0 win over AFC Bournemouth in the FA Cup on Saturday.
“Nothing has changed from the weekend, really,” conceded the Reds boss. “We still have 24 hours to assess one or two of our players, but otherwise we’ll be pretty much the same as the weekend.” One bright spot, along with fullback Jon Flanagan coming through his brief cameo appearance on Saturday unscathed, is the possibility that Joe Allen, who missed out against the Cherries after picking up an injury in training, could feature under the floodlights tomorrow.
“We just need to see. We’ve still got a wee bit of time to decide that, and he was on the training field today” confirmed Rodgers. “It’s just a case of assessing Joe on whether this game is going to push him too much and whether he’s fully fit.” While those aren’t the most encouraging words, it’s a hell of a lot better than his update on Sakho…