BY KORIR JUMA,NAIROBI,23RD MAY,2022-Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has admitted that he expects Thiago Alcantara to miss Saturday’s Champions League final with Real Madrid owing to the injury he picked up against Wolverhampton Wanderers.
The 31-year-old featured from the first whistle at Anfield on the final day of the Premier League season but headed down the tunnel just before half time after misplacing a pass to Trent Alexander-Arnold.
Thiago did not emerge for the second half and was replaced by James Milner as Liverpool won 3-1, but it was not enough to see them pip Manchester City to the title.
The Spain international has struggled to stay consistently fit during his time with the Reds but had started to cement his place in the team after avoiding injuries for a lengthy period of time.
Klopp was asked about Thiago’s condition after the full-time whistle, and the Liverpool boss conceded that he did not have any good news to share
A separate report from The Athletic has stated that Thiago suffered an Achilles injury, but the former Bayern Munich and Barcelona man did not sustain any significant damage.
However, Thiago is still facing an uphill battle to make himself available for the battle with Los Blancos, and the club will see how he responds to treatment over the next two days.
Should the midfielder miss out on the final, he will end the 2021-22 season with two goals and five assists from 38 appearances in all tournaments, including 17 starts in the Premier League.
Thiago has pulled on the Liverpool shirt a total of 68 times since arriving from Bayern in 2020, but he has missed a further 44 matches through injury or illness already.
While Thiago is now considered a major doubt for the final, Klopp will be hopeful of welcoming Fabinho back to the engine room as the Brazilian steps up his recovery from a hamstring injury.
The 28-year-old has missed the Reds’ last three games since sustaining the issue against Aston Villa on May 10, but there is optimism over his availability for Saturday’s European showpiece event.
On a more negative note, Klopp has already confirmed that outgoing striker Divock Origi will be absent after picking up a thigh strain which forced him to miss the win over Wolves.
The Belgian – who has scored a plethora of important late goals for the club – was still given an on-field ovation at Anfield ahead of his departure as a free agent, and AC Milan are expected to wrap up his signing imminently.
Origi prepares to leave Liverpool having scored 41 goals and provided 18 assists in 175 games for the club since joining as a 19-year-old from Lille in the summer of 2014.