Divock Origi is making rapid progress from the ankle ligament injury that was feared would rule him out for the rest of the season, Jürgen Klopp has revealed.
The injury was initially expected to sideline the Liverpool striker for the remainder of the current campaign, but his recent progress - including resuming light training - has fuelled hopes that he may be fit to feature in the UEFA Europa League final next week.
Origi's injury recovery quicker than Reds anticipated
Asked about the Belgium international, Klopp told journalists in his pre-Chelsea press conference that Origi is training but "not with the team yet" as he explained that the striker has been "running and passing."
The Reds boss added that the club will take the situation "day by day" and said that they "don't have to make a decision" immediately although he is "recovering quicker than we thought."
Klopp likened Origi's rapid recovery to that of Emre Can's miraculous rehabilitation as he praised the coaches and the therapists for doing "a really good job" in helping the 21-year-old get back to fitness.
"We cannot force it," he warned, adding that Origi is "in a better way than we expected the day after injury" and that the club are so far unaware of whether there's "enough time" for him to return to full health and be involved in the final in Basel on Wednesday.
Ings in a "really good way" says Klopp
Another striker bidding to get back out on to the pitch before the end of the season is Danny Ings, who is yet to play for the Reds under Klopp's tenure.
The 23-year-old, who the club learned will cost them £6.5 million plus £1.5 million in add-ons after an independent tribunal last month, has been in full training for almost two weeks after a seven month spell out with a serious knee ligament injury.
The England international isn't included in Liverpool's 23-man Europa League squad, meaning he is ineligible to play in the final, and therefore faces a battle in order to feature on the final day of the season at West Bromwich Albion this Sunday.
"What can I say? Danny is healthy," Klopp responded when asked about the striker's situation. He explained that Ings is "not 100%" just yet but that he's "in a really good way" after his lengthy lay-off.
On whether he would feature in the coming Barclays Premier League games, Klopp said that Ings will "maybe [be] in the squad" but only "if it makes sense" to bring him into the team.
The German praised the former Burnley man's enthusiastic approach and said that in his first session back outside "it was like he had never been away."
He added: "But you shoot back and the next morning, you get up and it's not so easy because of the different intensity in the training than before. We will see how he reacts to all the training."
Klopp also said that it's "a good situation" for Ings to be in because he will be at "100%" when they start pre-season for the 2016-17 campaign. He also continued that if the season was "one or two weeks longer" then Ings "could play for sure" but said that, at least next season, they will "have a lot of fun."
Klopp acknowledges Mignolet injury risk
The Reds boss was also quizzed about his goalkeeping situation, with Simon Mignolet expected to play against Chelsea although back-up shotstopper Danny Ward is out with a knock.
A minor knee problem will keep the Welshman out for at least the next few weeks, whilst Klopp also acknowledged that rookie 'keepers Shamal George and Ryan Fulton are both out with respective issues.
"Thank you for reminding me about this," joked the boss, who said the club are without Ward, George and Fulton and that it's "not too easy in this moment."
Ward "will be [out for] about another three days" according to Klopp, who said he "should be back" after that because he's only resting and the injury is "not a serious diagnosis."
"Of course there is risk [playing Mignolet in the two final games before the final]," he continued, "But what is without risk? We don't have to think too much about this."