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Thiago injury risk leaves Liverpool facing Champions League Final dilemma

Thiago limped off against Wolves and Jurgen Klopp must now hope the midfielder recovers to face Real Madrid in the Champions League final in Paris

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Klopp reflects as Liverpool miss out on title

Thiago Alcantara is facing a race against time to be fit for the Champions League final… but Liverpool believe there’s a chance he will make it.

The iconic midfielder limped off just before the interval in his side’s 3-1 defeat of Aston Villa at the weekend, with what is now confirmed as an Achilles injury. The Spain international was seen with ice packed on his ankle to reduce the swelling around the affected area, and now faces an intensive course of treatment, in an attempt to manage the problem.

After scans on Monday morning, the problem is not thought to be serious, with fears completely eased over a rupture to the Achilles, which would require surgery and rule the player out for several months. Klopp himself indicated on Sunday evening that there was no serious damage, pointing out that Thiago could walk, and carry his baby daughter on his shoulders during the lap of honour at the end of the game.

But given the proximity of the final, with just five days before the showpiece occasion with Real Madrid, that leaves little time for treatment to the Achilles, which is likely to be a Grade 1 injury, often referred to as tendonitis. The management will include rest and recovery, with the aim of reducing the inflammation around the ankle swiftly. But Thiago’s big problem will be the lack of time to train.

Klopp has always wanted his players to show their fitness with a full training session before any game, but the clock is already ticking on that, with the midfielder now forced to rest the injury for several days. It means the Liverpool manager may be faced with a late call, as the medical staff manage the injury and try to get him ready for at least a place on the bench on Saturday.

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Thiago limped off vs Wolves

There is better news for the Reds though, with Virgil van Dijk fit for the final after taking his place on the bench against Wolves, and Fabinho confirming that he will be fit for the final.

The Brazilian midfielder is aiming to return to training later this week, and that will give him time to prove his fitness for the showdown with Madrid, a club for whom he played a single game, where there as a young player. Klopp has clearly not given up on Thiago, saying after the Wolves game that there is still a chance of him playing.

“He could walk, that is a good sign, he had his daughter on his shoulders, for the rest we will see,” he said. “We want to wait until we get more information. Divock Origi is out of the final, but apart from that and hopefully Thiago as well, all have a chance and we will prepare.”

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