Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has suffered a setback after news that Lucas Leiva will miss the start of the new Premier League season through injury.
The Brazilian midfielder was forced off the pitch in last week’s friendly against Huddersfield Town, and after undergoing further scans, the extent of the issue has been revealed.
Leiva has suffered a hamstring strain that will keep him sidelined for around a month, according to The Liverpool Echo, which not only disrupts his pre-season preparations but now rules him out of the start of the new campaign.
The 29-year-old is currently in the US along with his team-mates, but will now work away from the main group along with Joe Gomez and Mamadou Sakho as the trio continue their recovery from injury.
As noted by The Echo, Leiva has been linked with an exit from Anfield this summer, with Jurgen Klopp adding more competition for places.
The likes of Sadio Mane and Georginio Wijnaldum will compete for a starting berth for the Reds, albeit in different roles, but that could be seen as another setback for Leiva, who is Liverpool’s longest serving player currently in the squad after arriving nine years ago.
While the disappointment of picking up an injury is bad enough in itself, it will now put him back and behind the rest of the group in terms of getting back to full fitness and being ready for selection.
In turn, his team-mates will continue to vie for a spot in the starting line-up in his absence, which could push him closer to the exit door.
Leiva made 40 appearances in all competitions last season, but it remains to be seen if he will continue to form an important part of Klopp’s plans moving forward.