Promising young winger Sheyi Ojo back in Liverpool training after four-month lay-off

Promising young winger Sheyi Ojo back in Liverpool training after four-month lay-off

Teenage Liverpool winger Sheyi Ojo is finally back in first-team training from a back injury he initially sustained in pre-season in July, joining the likes of Joe Gomez, Dejan Lovren and Lucas Leiva at Melwood on Monday afternoon.

Charlie Malam

Highly-rated Liverpool winger Sheyi Ojo is back in first-team training after four months out with a troublesome back injury.

The 19-year-old made 11 senior appearances under Jürgen Klopp last term and made a sizeable impression after being re-called from a loan spell of mixed success at Wolverhampton Wanderers in January.

But Ojo's involvement with England Under-19s over the summer and his refusal of a summer break, in order to join up with his teammates on their pre-season tour of the United States, took their toll.

He scored and performed well in Liverpool's friendly defeat to AS Roma, but sustained a stress fracture to his back which initially saw ruled out until at least mid-September.

However, the promising teenager's comeback was delayed by niggles before he managed to step up his recovery over the past month and finally return to training this week.  

Teenager back to outdoor training after injury

Ojo joined the rest of the squad's non-internationals at Melwood on Monday, joining returning defender Joe Gomez, who had featured for 45 minutes in a 5-0 behind-closed-doors friendly win over Accrington Stanley the previous day. That came after a year out injured with a knee and then an achilles issue.

With 14 of the Reds' internationals, as well as a number of notable youth internationals away, Ojo and Gomez were joined by the likes of Dejan Lovren, Lucas Leiva and Alberto Moreno.

No.1 goalkeeper Loris Karius was also involved, with younger shot-stoppers Andrew Firth, Kamil Grabara and Shamal George - also returning from an injury sustained before the start of the season - joining him.

Connor Randall and Kevin Stewart completed the complement, with the likes of Joel Matip and Emre Can absent. More than likely, the latter players were recovering from the minutes they played against Accrington, with minor knocks also a possibility.

Ojo to offer Mane back-up out wide?

Regardless, the return of Ojo will be a much welcome one for Klopp - who has recently acknowledged the dearth of depth he has in the wide positions.

Summer signing Sadio Mane is the club's only other recognised winger and having scored six goals and added four assists in 11 Premier League games, is undoubtedly first-choice out wide.

But Ojo could establish himself as a valuable deputy, with Klopp even having suggested he could look to add competition in the wide-man positions in January - with Borussia Dortmund teenager Christian Pulisic one such target.

With Mane likely to be absent for the whole of January - when Liverpool take on rivals Manchester United away and host Chelsea at Anfield - due to international duty for Senegal at the African Cup of Nations, there is a chance for Ojo to stake his claim in the coming months.

As he works his way back to full fitness, he is likely to be handed some beneficial game time with the Under-23s - as someone like Danny Ings has in his own injury recovery earlier this season.

With Ojo and Gomez both working their way towards full fitness again, Ings is now Liverpool's only absentee - having suffered a devastating knee injury that will force him to miss the rest of the current campaign.