While pre-season friendlies are obviously essential for players to increase their fitness levels ahead of a new season, there’s also a chance of injuries occurring.
Liverpool confirmed on Friday that Loris Karius will be out for up to 10 weeks after breaking a bone in his hand during Wednesday night’s International Champions Cup match against Chelsea at the Rose Bowl in California.
But when did Karius break his hand against Chelsea, we hear you ask. After all, the German goalkeeper played the full 90 minutes.
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That’s true, but the 23-year-old broke his hand after accidentally punching Dejan Lovren while defending a set piece, according to the Mirror. (Scroll down this page to watch the incident).
Lovren certainly felt the impact of the punch - the Croatia international had to have a lie-down, like a boxer who’d just been floored by his opponent - but Karius simply got up and played on.
Video: The moment Karius broke his hand
It seems that it was only after the match before the injury was detected.
Klopp bemoans Karius injury
“It’s not too cool, of course,” Klopp told Liverpool’s official website after the news Karius could be out for two months. “You never want to have an injured player and the problem with injuries is that they’re always at the wrong time – there is never good timing with injuries. It’s not cool for the boy, it’s not cool for us, but it can’t be changed so we have to take it.
“We have another three goalkeepers and everybody knows about the quality of Simon Mignolet, so [that's] all good and he’s made a really good impression in the first few days since he’s been back in training.
“We have the very experienced Alex Manninger and the very young Shamal George. That’s now the situation. It could have been worse – everybody knows a broken bone in the hand for a goalkeeper is not the best thing to have.
“It could have been worse, but six, eight, 10 weeks – whatever it takes in the end – it’s not the longest period, but it’s not too good of course.”
Mignolet to continue as Liverpool's No. 1 goalkeeper
Karius, following a scan in the United States, will reportedly undergo surgery on his injury.
The former Mainz ‘keeper has flown back to the UK as the Reds attempt to schedule the operation as quickly as possible.
Mignolet is now expected to start in the friendlies against AC Milan, AS Roma, Barcelona and Mainz, as well as the Reds’ Premier League opener against Arsenal on August 14.
How big a blow is this for Liverpool? Have your say by leaving a comment below.