Liverpool utility man James Milner is set to miss a spell of the Reds’ hectic winter schedule, after boss Jurgen Klopp confirmed that the veteran suffered a hamstring injury during the 1-1 draw with Brighton & Hove Albion.
The 34-year-old started the game for the Premier League champions as Klopp looked to rotate his side following the defeat to Atalanta in Wednesday’s Champions League clash, but he had to be substituted on 75 minutes after feeling a strain in his leg.
And Klopp has since confirmed that Milner suffered a hamstring problem in the draw, and will miss a vital period of fixtures for the Reds, as the busy festive schedule approaches. Speaking after the match, the German coach was asked whether his midfielder had been substituted due to a hamstring strain, to which he sarcastically replied: “Yeah, congratulations.”
Clearly frustrated by the constant stream of fixtures, he criticised the television broadcasters for their role in the situation, before confessing it’s a ‘tough time’ for everyone.
“Hamstring. Surprise. And they (Brighton) had injuries as well because it’s a tough time.”
This interview resulted in a heated debate between Klopp and BT Sport’s Des Kelly, whose employers he blamed for the fixture pile up and resulting injuries.
The 53-year-old saw his champions drop two points thanks to a last-gasp penalty, converted by Pascal Gross, meaning the Reds only claimed top spot by a single point ahead of Tottenham, who boast a game in hand.
And going into the Christmas period, Klopp will be concerned about surrendering more points, given the state of his injury-ravaged squad. He remains without Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joe Gomez and Virgil van Dijk in defence, while midfielders Thiago Alcantara and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are still out of contention.
Liverpool host Ajax in a vital Champions League clash on Tuesday evening, and then entertain Wolverhampton Wanderers in what will be a real battle at Anfield next Sunday night.