Joel Matip is expected to sit out with a foot injury for the remainder of Liverpool’s 2019-20 season.
In a 0-0 Merseyside derby draw with Everton on June 21 the 28-year-old defender picked up an untimely problem.
He lasted in that contest for 73 minutes before being forced out of the field, with Dejan Lovren introduced in his place.
Joe Gomez has since re-entered a center-half berth alongside Virgil van Dijk in fit-again.
The partnership will have to be preferred by Jurgen Klopp until the end of the season – although he now has the option of tinkering with his plans on the back of the Reds to win a Premier League championship.
Liverpool does not need to take any unnecessary risks from this point, with another piece of silverware safely protected.
That means Matip is given as long as he needs to make a complete recovery from his ailment.
The former Cameroon international told the club’s official website: “I’m not going to be back on the field this season but for next season, I think I’m going to be big support for the team pretty early.”
Liverpool only has seven Premier League games left to take in this season – the first to see them play on Thursday at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester City.
Having dethroned the Blues as kings of English football, Pep Guardiola ‘s side should give Klopp’s men a guard of honor.
Matip won’t have the chance to savor this attention but will be an enthusiastic observer for the remainder of the campaign.
There are still noteworthy records in the sights of the Reds as they play their way to the finishing post, helping them to surpass the 100-point record haul from 2017-18 for City.
Matip should have been looking to contribute to the search, returning to prominence in the back four of the Reds’ middle.
He now has to look on from afar as Van Dijk and Gomez continue to build on their partnership commitment.