Liverpool defender Mamadou Sakho has returned to first-team training following a knee injury picked up in November, says Jurgen Klopp.
After landing awkwardly following an aerial challenge with Yannick Bolasie in early November, it was initially feared that the Frenchman had damaged his ACL - a season-ending injury already suffered by Danny Ings and Joe Gomez - but has fortunately managed to recover within roughly five weeks.
Sakho could be set for a return to the squad for the trip to Watford next Sunday.
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Jurgen Klopp said, according to the Liverpool Echo: “Mama had his first training session with the team yesterday,”
“If nothing happens and he carries on in training, that's what he needs now, and if he has no more issues with the knee, he can be a real option for us.
“Next week he is available if nothing more happens.”
In his absence, Croatian defender Dejan Lovren has played alongside Martin Skrtel in the heart of Liverpool's defence. After a very promising start to life under Klopp for Sakho, Lovren had a substantial role to fill.
With the latter receiving a nomination for the Premier League's Player of the Month award for his performances in Sakho's absence, Lovren has now staked a claim to push for a regular position in the first team.
Amidst the current lack of defenders being available due to injury, Sakho's return will bring a huge boost in personnel to the dressing room as his leadership qualities have been sorely missed on the pitch.
It remains to be seen whether or not he'll start the game against Watford next Sunday but risking another injury might be too hazardous and with Lovren gaining in stature, changes might be unnecessary.