Jurgen Klopp has admitted Fabinho’s injury is “not good” and the “last thing we needed” after the Brazilian became the latest casualty on Liverpool’s growing list of problems.
Fabinho limped out of the 2-0 win over Danish minnows FC Midtjylland after just half an hour of the Champions League group D clash on Tuesday.
Liverpool were already without injured duo Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip for the clash, and Klopp was forced to throw on 19-year-old Rhys Williams in place of Fabinho for the remaining hour.
The injury is a worrying concern for Liverpool’s manager, who is now facing a potential crisis in his defence.
Speaking after the match, Klopp told BT Sport: “Losing another centre-back was exactly the last thing we needed.
“[Fabinho] felt his hamstring and that’s not good.
“He didn’t feel it too much: he said he could have played on but not make any more sprints.”
Fabinho could now miss Liverpool’s next fixture at home to West Ham on Saturday, while Matip may not recover in time to be available.
Asked on Matip’s situation, Klopp said: “I don’t know. We are really interested in that fact as you can imagine.”
With van Dijk expected to be out for much of the season, Klopp may have to turn to youngster Williams again for the centre-back to make his Premier League debut.
Captain Jordan Henderson could also deputise in the role, though he was also an injury concern after a heavy challenge in the first half.
Henderson was withdrawn at the break but Klopp insisted it was always the plan to replace him at half-time with Georginio Wijnaldum so both players got 45 minutes of action each.
It was that kind of night for Klopp, who watched his side fail to muster a single shot on target in the first half – the first time they’d not done so at Anfield in 51 matches.
After a drab opening 45 minutes, in which Midtjylland had the best of the opportunities, Diogo Jota eventually broke the deadlock before the hour.
The Portuguese forward tucked away a simple tap-in from close range after Trent Alexander-Arnold had played a swift one-two with Xherdan Shaqiri before squaring for Jota to finish.
Despite Klopp introducing the cavalry of Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and later Roberto Firmino from the bench, Liverpool struggled to put the game to bed.
Indeed the best chance fell to Firmino, only for him to shoot over the bar when it looked easier to score.
Midtjylland almost nicked a point in the dying minutes as Anders Dreyer – who was denied superbly by Alisson earlier on – chipped a shot inches past the post.
Liverpool went straight up the other end and won a penalty as Mohamed Salah was tripped in the box, before the Egyptian got to his feet to stroke home the spot kick in injury time and wrap up the win.
Adding of the result, Klopp said: “It was a tough night. It’s a bit like in a marriage, there are good and bad times.
“It’s not a bad time but it’s a tricky time. 100% we have to stick together and fight harder and that’s what the boys did tonight.”