Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah may play through pain barrier at Crystal Palace

Andy Hunter on 22 November 2019

Jürgen Klopp has said Mohamed Salah must continue to play with pain but allayed concerns the Liverpool forward needs surgery on the ankle injury that has troubled him for seven weeks.

Salah has trained during the international break although remains a doubt for the Premier League leaders’ visit to Crystal Palace on Saturday. The 27-year-old suffered the injury when fouled by Hamza Choudhury in the win over Leicester on 5 October and missed the following league game at Manchester United as a consequence. The problem was aggravated by a challenge from Fernandinho in the defeat of Manchester City before the international break and, despite a period of rest and rehabilitation, Salah has yet to make a full recovery. His manager, however, believes the injury can be managed game-by-game and without an operation.

Klopp said: “No [he doesn’t need surgery]. It is from the Leicester game. It was getting better and better but after the City game, another tackle, it flared up again.

“It is not serious but in the short period we have to let it settle. It is always tight for the game. We will see. He trained completely yesterday, a full session, but we have to see how he reacted.”

The Liverpool manager added: “He has trained the whole time he has been here [during the international break] but only the things we have wanted him to do.

“It’s not that it has got worse, but it’s still kind of there. That’s the problem. We have to be sensible with things like this.”

A more distant problem for Klopp with Salah concerns his possible inclusion in the Egypt squad for next summer’s Olympics in Tokyo. Egypt are likely to want their biggest star to feature as an over-age player in the under-23s tournament, which takes place from July to early August. “I only knew about this an hour ago,” admitted the Liverpool manager. “I only just found out that Egypt have qualified for the Olympics and there are some problems in the future. I have to speak to Mo.”

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Klopp, who confirmed he will be in Qatar for the Club World Cup when Liverpool play their Carabao Cup tie at Aston Villa on 17 December, has several injury issues for Palace with Andy Robertson and Joe Gomez also doubtful.

But he insisted: “If you are at the level we are it is not allowed to look for excuses. There are always things that happen. One guy is ill overnight and you could say tomorrow before the game: ‘How can deal with that?’ We have to deal constantly with these kind of problems. No need for excuses. Try whatever you can to be as a successful as you can.”

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