Joel Matip was forced off with an apparent muscle injury in the second half of Liverpool‘s Premier League match with West Brom on Sunday night. The centre-back appeared to be struggling with a groin problem and was replaced on the hour mark.
Rhys Williams came on in place of the Cameroonian, who went down after looking to have suffered a muscle strain while stretching to reach an aerial ball.
He immediately flagged to the touchline before dropping to the turf and was promptly substituted given his poor fitness record since joining from Schalke in 2016.
The 29-year-old has regularly suffered injury woes in his four-year stint on Merseyside and has only completed 90 minutes in back-to-back Premier League matches once in the last 15 months.
A back issue recently forced Matip off at half time of a top-flight draw with Fulham although he played the full match in the rout of Crystal Palace after missing the win over Tottenham.
Matip got an assist against Palace for one of Mohamed Salah’s goals and also supplied the pass for Sadio Mane’s opener at Anfield against the Baggies.
The Premier League champions will be hoping and praying that Matip’s latest injury is only a minor one.
Jurgen Klopp already has several fitness problems to deal with at the back with Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez fighting to play again this term due to severe knee injuries.
Any significant lay-off for Matip would leave Liverpool heavily reliant on Fabinho staying fit and available, with Williams and Nat Phillips then the players most likely to partner the Brazilian, who is naturally a defensive midfielder, at the back.
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