Liverpool defender Joel Matip could be fit for this afternoon’s game against Brighton, according to Jurgen Klopp.
The Cameroon international has been sidelined since he broke his collarbone in the closing minutes of the Reds’ 1-0 win over Napoli in mid-December.
Matip wasn’t expected to be ready to face the Seagulls, but speaking in his pre-match press conference yesterday, Klopp confirmed that the 27-year-old had trained on Thursday:
“Joel trained for the first time yesterday with the team. That is really good but we have to see. We have to take it day-by-day and see how he is doing but that is good for us of course.”
Fans on Twitter were delighted to hear the centre-back could be in contention to play:
Thanks God, Matip is coming
— Kathie (@Kathie_football) 11 January 2019
Great! If Matip is fine then Fabinho is back to midfield! Sure win for #LFC ! 👊💪
— Ssekamwa James (@JamesSsekamwa) 11 January 2019
So klopp confirms Matip could be back for Brighton? Good sign that trust him more than lovren he is also better than lovren was doing well before he got injured but I can’t see klopp risking him personally think Fabinho partners VVD #LFC
— Sam » Esmail (@Sam_Esmail) 11 January 2019
— Cameron Shaffner (@C_Shaffner) 11 January 2019
Matip back in training 👏👏👏👏
— Dean Cox (@DrGonzooooo) 11 January 2019
Matip returns from injury. Hooray.
— Lestor ⚽ (@neeker_san) 11 January 2019
Matip is back in full training , I’d risk him
— K G O T S O F A L A N G (@Aah_Bhukula) 11 January 2019
— Shaz (@shazmaruf) 11 January 2019
This fixture is probably too soon for Matip but I’m happy he’s back. https://t.co/z8f7Q7FxXf
— Tshiamo (@YuzAnderson) 11 January 2019
If Matip is fit he absolutely has to play, was almost flawless up until injury, best I’ve seen him play by a long way. Rumour is he’s been staying fit.
— Rowly (@ThisIsRowly) 11 January 2019
It would be a risk to play Matip just a few days after returning to training, but Klopp may have no choice with Dejan Lovren out with a hamstring injury, and Joe Gomez still recovering from a fractured leg.
The Reds could, however, turn to Fabinho if Matip is not ready to start against Brighton. The Brazilian played the full 90 minutes against Wolves as a centre-half in the 2-1 defeat on Monday night.