There has been a mystery surround Dejan Lovren and his whereabouts during Liverpool’s pre-season campaign.
Lovren’s 2018 World Cup campaign saw him go all the way to the final with Croatia, where they were on the receiving end of a 4-2 defeat by France.
A well-earned holiday was waiting for the Reds’ number six, but unlike his fellow World Cup-playing teammates such as Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Trent Alexander-Arnold, who featured in Liverpool’s 4-0 victory over West Ham, Lovren has been absent.
Lovren since revealed that he had been suffering from ‘stomach muscle issues’, which he played through for his nation, and admitted he was in a lot of pain, but that club officials weren’t happy with him.
Fans speculated that Lovren didn’t tell Jurgen Klopp and the club’s medical staff about the injury as he thought he would be replaced in the transfer window, which has since closed.
And the fact that the defender told Liverpool’s official website that he was ‘ready and fit again’ before last Tuesday’s friendly against Torino have confused matters even more.
Klopp has finally revealed the truth about the matter though, which may put an end to any conspiracy theories supporters may have had.
“He is not fit. Let me say it like this, last year he already had a few problems with that but he could obviously play – and played really good,” stated Klopp.
“Recovery days were always enough then it was not a problem and he was in the next session again.
“We did not train a lot in the end of the season, of course, because we were more or less constantly playing, but he played constantly.
“Now in the World Cup, [playing] three times [for] 120 minutes it got a bit worse, but I am pretty sure it will settle in the next one, two or three weeks.
“In that time he can probably for sure train already, but not the full programme, so that will then take time.
“In the end, it is serious but not that serious, so it’s not that we need to be afraid that it will take him until whenever. In the moment he is not available, that’s true.”
So from Klopp’s words it could be three weeks or more until we see Lovren back on the Anfield turf, however there’s no guarantee that he will regain his starting place.
Joe Gomez lined-up next to Virgil Van Dijk against the Hammers, and if the Reds go on a run of good form, Lovren may be consigned to a watching brief for the foreseeable future.