Jurgen Klopp has revealed he is being cautious with returning midfielder Adam Lallana to first team action after a number of short-lived comebacks.
The Englishman spent the first four months of the season sidelined with injury before making an eventual comeback in late November.
His comeback however has been not as fruitful as both he and his manager would of hoped, with Lallana being restricted to just over 220 minutes of football with his injury problems still prevalent.
Lallana played for Liverpool’s U23s against Tottenham earlier in the week, but was sent off after just an hour after lashing out at George Marsh following a challenge from the Spurs captain.
And things appear to be going from bad to worse for the former Southampton man after Jurgen Klopp admitted he is not in his immediate first-team plans.
“He is for sure an option for the squad, but an option for the first XI? I would think not in the moment,” said Klopp, “But maybe I can sleep twice before we play Southampton so maybe I will change my mind on this. We will see.”
Klopp did however praise Lallana for his work to get back to fitness, and says while he may not be ready to return for the Reds just yet, he does expect him to be back in his plans before the end of the season.
“He is in good shape, really quick, he looks fresh and looks good and you think ‘What can we do with him?’ but we did it twice now.
“I don’t think it was too early when we did it, but it happened twice so we need to settle a little and then use Adam.
“There are still, I don’t know, hopefully 18, 19, 20 games to go for us and that’s enough for him.”