Liverpool Football Club’s new defender, Dejan Lovren has handed the Brendan Rogers led Anfield outfit a major blow in their season campaign with a back injury sustained on international duties for Croatia. Lovren was due to be lined up for Croatia in the Euro 2016 qualifiers against Bulgaria on Friday and Azerbaijan on Monday but was unable to participate because of an abdominal tear which rules him out of the two international matches. This is a potential headache for manager, Brendan Rogers and the teeming Liverpool fans as only Kolo Toure and Martin Skrtel are the remaining fit centre backs for the Merseyside club. Now, the player is expected to return to England at Melwood to be assessed ahead of club’s engagements after the international break. It is only then that the club would be able to give official statements on how long he’d be out on the sidelines.
The Croatian Football Federation however, gave an official statement on their website, saying: ‘‘During training on Wednesday, Lovren felt pain in the abdominal wall. Igor Boric (a specialist) at St. Catherine (Hospital) showed there was a tear and he will not be ready for performance in Sofia and Osijek.’’ Though Liverpool would get their own chance of assessing the Lovren injury case, it isn’t clear whether the player would be available immediately after the international break or not. It is particularly disturbing that Mamadou Sakho, another top choice centre back for Liverpool has a thigh problem and may be out for a while leaving the defensive responsibilities of Liverpool at the centre back to ageing and error-prone Kolo Toure and match rusty Martin Skrtel. Liverpool face Queens Park Rangers (QPR) after the international break on the 18th October and the hope of many Liverpool supporters is to have at least one of Dejan Lovren or Mamadou Sakho back before the trip to London for the English Premier League encounter.
Liverpool has had its share of injuries associated with international breaks as players like Daniel Sturridge and Joel Allen have both been sidelined this season due to injuries sustained on duty for England and Wales respectively. Sturridge, who formed a very good goal scoring partnership with Luis Suarez last season, has missed 7 matches for Liverpool this season due to a thigh injury in training for England and manager, Brendan Rogers has expressed his displeasure about this. Just last month, Joe Allen and new signing, Emre Can picked up injuries during international assignments for Wales and Germany U-21. While Allen injured his knee, Can injured his ankle in Germany’s 8-0 win over Romania at the U-21 level. Overall, Liverpool has 7 players out injured and nothing but speedy recoveries would help Liverpool’s title challenges this season.
While Dejan Lovren’s time out on the sidelines isn’t known yet, Liverpool would heave a sigh of relief with the news that Daniel Sturridge and Joe Allen would be available for selection in the October 19th date with Queens Park Rangers (QPR). However, the defensive injury crises still persists with Sakho set to return on the 25th October while Jon Flanagan would be out till the 14th of December. How Liverpool and Brendan Rogers would cope with these problems is left to be seen as without the injuries to Sakho and Lovren, Liverpool are yet to replicate the form that almost won them the English Premier League title last season.