Liverpool are reportedly optimistic that Thiago Alcantara has avoided a serious knee injury despite fearing the worst for Virgil van Dijk, who could spend a lengthy spell on the sidelines. The duo were both on the end of nasty challenges in the 2-2 Merseyside derby draw with Everton on Sunday.
Van Dijk was forced off on 11 minutes after a poor Jordan Pickford tackle and there are rumours he may have torn his anterior cruciate ligament.
Liverpool have yet to publicly comment on the matter but it’s understood Anfield officials are braced for bad news regarding the talismanic Dutchman.
Thiago too was on the receiving end of a lunge when Richarlison caught him high on his shin with his studs in stoppage time and was sent off.
Unlike Van Dijk, Thiago played on in the final minutes – and even thought he had played a role in winning the Reds the game before Jordan Henderson’s effort was controversially disallowed.
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But he complained of discomfort after the game following Richarlison’s x-rated tackle.
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp explained post-match: “When I left the pitch, Thiago told me in the red card situation with Richarlison he thinks he got injured.
“We will see if it’s true or not, but if he felt like this then we need to have a look.”
Thiago and Van Dijk were both sent to hospital for scans on their respective knee problems with the latter spotted leaving on crutches.
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It is not yet known whether speculation that the Netherlands captain will miss the rest of the season or not is true, though the Liverpool Echo say that such rumours have not gone down well inside the club.
The Premier League champions are frustrated that such rumours are doing the rounds as they wait for a specialist to determine the true extent of the issue.
But Liverpool are said to be optimistic regarding Thiago’s diagnosis, with the Spaniard having produced a man of the match performance at Goodison Park.
The £25million summer signing has been excellent in his two Premier League appearances so far and his appearance at Everton was his first after recovering from COVID-19.
The Merseyside outfit will be hopeful that Thiago is able to return to the field as soon as possible given his superb start to life in England.
After his dismissal, meanwhile, Everton attacker Richarlison took to Twitter to apologise to Thiago.
He wrote: “I already sent a message to him apologising and I also do it here publicly. I hope he hasn’t been hurt and that everything is fine.
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“Unfortunately, there is nothing I can do to change what happened, other than to reflect, work and move on.”
“I also apologise to my team-mates, my club and my fans for leaving them with one less at the end of the game.
But the Brazilian attacker went on to anger Liverpool fans with a now-deleted tweet which appeared to show him questioning the severity of his tackle.
The 23-year-old accompanied a tweet of the collision with a thinking face emoji, leading many to believe he did not think he should have seen red.
Thiago is almost certain to miss Wednesday’s Champions League group stage opener with Ajax but Liverpool will hope the former Bayern Munich man is able to shake off his knock given their hectic upcoming fixture schedule.
Their next Premier League match sees them host Sheffield United at Anfield next Saturday (8pm).
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