Liverpool's Loris Karius to miss the start of the Premier League season after breaking hand

Liverpool will be without goalkeeper Loris Karius for the start of the season in two weeks' time after the German broke a bone in his hand in their 1-0 friendly defeat to Chelsea in the United States earlier this week.

Liverpool's Loris Karius to miss the start of the Premier League season after breaking hand
(Picture: The Anfield Wrap)

Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius is facing a two-month spell on the sidelines after breaking a bone in his hand in pre-season.

The German, signed from Mainz earlier this summer, started in between the sticks for the fifth consecutive friendly as the Reds took on Chelsea in the International Champions Cup in Pasadena in mid-week.

He clashed with Dejan Lovren when he came out to punch a cross and though it was the defender who initially appeared worse off, Karius sustained an injury which is likely to keep him out for around 8-10 weeks.

Karius continued on, playing for the full 90 minutes, before complaining later on Thursday of discomfort. He was sent for a scan which showed a fracture before learning of his expected lay-off.

The £4.7 million 'keeper could therefore be forced to wait until October to make his competitive debut for the club, having just conceded once - to Gary Cahill's header in a 1-0 defeat to Chelsea - throughout pre-season.

Fortunately for Jürgen Klopp, last season's first-choice shotstopper Simon Mignolet has recently returned to training and could take up Karius' place for the second of their three US fixtures against AC Milan in Santa Clara.

But reports suggest that Klopp was already eyeing up a starting spot for Karius, over Mignolet, when they travel to Arsenal for their Premier League opener on August 14.

However, the Reds' No.1 will have to wait significantly longer for his league debut and will leave their training base in California on Friday to return to the UK and continue his recovery back on Merseyside.

Suggestions that he may need an operation to fix the damage from the collision with Lovren could put his return back even further. 

Karius out for the start of the 2016-17 season

Karius and Lovren come together in the incident that left the 'keeper's hand damaged. (Picture: Getty Images)
Karius and Lovren come together in the incident that left the 'keeper's hand damaged. (Picture: Getty Images)

Liverpool have cover with Mignolet supported by a new deputy in veteran 'keeper Alex Manninger, who joined on a free transfer earlier this month after leaving Augsburg at the end of last season.

Nevertheless, Karius' injury is a huge blow to Klopp, who had persuaded the 23-year-old to pull out of potential selection for the Olympic Games in August to try and establish himself as first-choice in pre-season.

The two held talks, coming to the conclusion that it was in Karius' and the club's best interests that the player stay with the first-team rather than represent Germany in Brazil.

Otherwise, Marko Grujic is unlikely to play any further part for the Reds in North America after being treated for concussion in hospital after the Chelsea game.

A sickening clash of heads with Bertrand Traore left the midfielder dazed and complaining of memory loss and he could spent around two weeks out of action, having already been ruled out of featuring against Milan on Sunday.

But in more positive news, Georginio Wijnaldum could make his first appearance for the club against the Serie A side in Santa Clara. The £25 million midfielder joined up with the squad just last week after completing a switch from the relegated Newcastle United.

He could be joined by Daniel Sturridge and Nathaniel Clyne, who were granted extended summer breaks after their involvements at Euro 2016 for England, but remained in Palo Alto to continue training rather than travelling to the Rose Bowl to face Chelsea.