Liverpool forward Luis Diaz may not return to full sharpness immediately after the World Cup, according to a worrying update from injury expert Ben Dinnery.
The Lowdown: Diaz suffers injury blow
The Reds’ disappointing start to the season was made worse when Diaz suffered a knee injury in last weekend’s Premier League defeat away to Arsenal.
The Colombian won’t play again until the World Cup break in mid-November, leaving Jurgen Klopp with yet another injury dilemma in the coming weeks.
It is hoped that Diaz will be available once the competition ends shortly before Christmas, but that may not prove to be the case.
The Latest: Dinnery provides bleak update
“The difficulty is not just for Luis Diaz who is going to miss a large chunk of Premier League football. You’re going to have this winter shutdown so there are a lot of players who aren’t involved in the tournament or those who go away with their national teams and are on the fringes of the squad so are not getting the minutes.
“This is unprecedented. We just simply don’t know how it will work and what impact it will have on the second half of the season.
“No amount of non-competitive friendlies, bounce games, work on the training pitch can really replicate the cut and thrust of the Premier League.
“We’re talking two-and-a-half-months before Luis Diaz will be playing competitive football again. He’ll be then thrown into a high-octane competitive environment where the fixtures are coming thick and fast and we typically see high instances of injuries.
“You are almost creating this perfect storm for players. Not just in December or January but the second half of the season. It’s difficult for those players who are going to the World Cup and also how you manage those who are not involved or haven’t travelled.”
The Verdict: Huge loss for Liverpool
This is a potentially major setback for both Liverpool and Diaz, with the 25-year-old arguably the Reds’ standout player of a bad bunch so far this season, scoring three goals and registering two assists in the league.
His pace and directness from out wide are such lethal weapons for Klopp – the manager has called him ‘world-class’ – and without him, the rest of the attackers are at their best in more central roles, perhaps barring Mohamed Salah.
The hope is that Dinnery’s prediction ends up not coming to fruition, with the idea of Liverpool not having Diaz firing at 100 per cent until the New Year something that is hugely concerning.
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