Georginio Wijnaldum, Daniel Sturridge and Danny Ings all missed training at Melwood on Thursday as Liverpool continued preparations for their third pre-season friendly against Bury this weekend.
Wijnaldum returned to Liverpool last Sunday, having been granted an extended break after representing the Netherlands in two post-season international friendlies. Tuesday’s trip to Tranmere came too soon for the 27-year-old.
He sat out the session on the advice of the club’s medical staff and may also be forced to miss Friday’s training, Jurgen Klopp says.
“Gini was not in training this morning; that’s pre-season, sometimes they feel a little bit here or a little bit there and the medical department tell me: ‘not today’,” he revealed. I don’t know if he will be in tomorrow, we will know that a little bit later.”
Klopp did not provide an update on the notoriously injury-prone Sturridge. The Englishman is expected to leave the club this summer, but as it stands his principal suitors have yet to make their move.
Sturridge is looking to sensationally force his way back into the manager’s plans and has impressed so far in pre-season, but any injury setback could convince Klopp not to take the risk.
Ings is another who may be headed for the exit door, but injury should also explain his absence given that he was ruled out of the game at Prenton Park with heavy blisters.
As a result, Divock Origi, fighting for his future, and Dominic Solanke are likely to lead the line for 45 minutes each against League 2 side Bury, with Klopp set to continue his present selection policy.
Klopp says Virgil van Dijk, who rejoined the fold at the same time as Wijnaldum, and Joel Matip, sidelined at the end of the season by a calf injury, should also be ready to play a half each at Gigg Lane after building their fitness at Melwood.
Matip, free of international commitments, has made good progress over the summer and will be eased back into action.
“Of course I am in full training but I think to get the real full fitness everybody needs a bit longer, me especially after a long injury, but we are all on a good way and me as well,” the centre-back said.
“The staff did everything with me. I felt, over the summer, quite good and they did a lot of good things, sometimes not easy, things with me but they helped me a lot, of course.”
The game against Bury is followed by a visit to Blackburn Rovers shortly before most of the squad, excluding some of those who enjoyed prolonged World Cup campaigns, jet off to the United States for the International Champions Cup.
“A lot of players will come back now in the next eight or nine days and then we have the next group and [while] we are in America, they’ll start training,” Klopp explained. “It’s kind of a challenge but it’s the same for all the other teams as well.
“The plan is to be stronger after pre-season than before pre-season, reach the level from last year again and use that as a basis for the next step.”