Boost for Liverpool as Matip returns to training but Klopp says Jota is still ‘in a few weeks’

Reds defender could be available for selection against Burnley after recovering from groin injury

Liverpool have received a boost with Joel Matip’s return to training after three weeks on the sidelines, but Jurgen Klopp has also revealed that Diogo Jota is still “a few weeks away” from full fitness.

Matip has been out of action since sustaining a groin injury in Liverpool’s 1-1 draw with West Brom at Anfield on December 27.

The 29-year-old has missed Premier League fixtures against Newcastle, Southampton and Manchester United as well as the FA Cup third round clash against Aston Villa, but he could be available for selection again when the Reds host Burnley on Thursday .

Klopp provided an update on Matip’s recovery at a pre-match press conference, telling reporters: “Joel is in training, and now we have to make a decision. We’ll see tomorrow.”

The Liverpool boss was unable to give more good news regarding Jota’s rehab, however, with the £ 41million ($ 56million) summer signing still coming back from a serious knee problem.

“Diogo is still a few weeks away. He needs time, ”Klopp said.

The reigning Premier League champions have suffered an alarming drop in form in recent weeks as Matip’s absence has left Klopp desperately short of options in central defense.

The German head coach was forced to pair Fabinho and Jordan Henderson at the heart of the defense against Southampton and United, with first-choice duo Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez also still missing due to respective long-term injuries.

Liverpool lost to the Saints before being held to a 0-0 draw by the Red Devils, which extended their recent winless streak to four top-level matches, but Klopp drew a lot of positives from his last one. exit at Anfield.

“Our situation is not a disaster, it is just not perfect. And I saw a lot of good signs in the Man United game, ”he said. “But because we didn’t win, nobody was interested.”

The Reds, who are now four points behind league leaders Leicester City, are currently suffering their worst scoreless streak since 2005, with Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane all struggling to deliver in the final third.

However, Klopp insists that the burden of getting the ball into the back of the net should be shared among the whole team, as he added when asked to deal with the lingering drought of his first three: “ Of course, it’s about the whole team, without a doubt. the boys themselves know the goals are wrong. We just have to work on it.

“[John] Stones, a week ago he scored his first goal for [Manchester] City, then in the next game, he scores twice! “