Injury-victim Joe Gomez has told the Liverpool Echo how thankful he is for the "uplifting" support of Liverpool teammate Danny Ings, who suffered the same ACL injury 24 hours later.
Days after Jurgen Klopp's Anfield arrival, the former Charlton man damaged his anterior cruciate ligament whilst playing for the England U21s during an October international against Kazakhstan. The next day, striker Ings damaged his during training at Melwood.
It ended the season for both players but Gomez says he'd find it much tougher to get through rehabilitation if he didn't have Ings working alongside him. They have both undergone surgery in London and are now helping each other during the early stages of recovery.
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"We come in every morning, our schedule is quite set at the moment," said Gomez. "At first I didn't actually realise how much of a help he'd be during the whole process. My injury hadn't properly hit me yet and Ingsy's was a day later. It was gutting for us both and tough to take."
Both were signed last summer - Gomez for an initial £3.5 million, with Ings' fee decided by a tribunal after letting his Burnley contract run out. 18-year-old Gomez was immediately thrust into Brendan Rodgers' first team and had a run at left-back, despite also being comfortable in central defence. However, the injury has enabled Alberto Moreno to take his place in the side.
Ings, 23, has scored three times for Liverpool, including a goal in the Merseyside derby. His presence has been a real boost to Gomez.
“We didn’t have time to digest it in the beginning, but there’s moments now I’ll be doing a session and think to myself ‘imagine if I had to do all this on my own.’ It would be hard to. He’s such an uplifting guy and that’s exactly what you need around you.
“We bounce off each other really well and it’s great that we can motivate each other during this period.”
Liverpool's treatment room is getting rather crowded, such is their current injury crisis. Dejan Lovren, Phillipe Coutinho, Martin Skrtel and Divock Origi have pulled up recently, whilst Daniel Sturridge seems to be in a permanent state of injury.
Klopp will be hoping Ings can have a similarly positive effect on those stars, as he needs as many fit bodies as he can get right now.