Liverpool injury update: Firmino to face pre-Spurs fitness test but Benteke out for a month

Roberto Firmino could potentially return from a hamstring injury to play for Liverpool in their clash with Mauricio Pochettino's Tottenham Hotspur this weekend, although Christian Benteke will miss out, Reds boss Jürgen Klopp confirmed on Friday.

Liverpool injury update: Firmino to face pre-Spurs fitness test but Benteke out for a month
(Picture: Getty Images)

Roberto Firmino will be subject to a late fitness test prior to Liverpool's showdown with Tottenham Hotspur at Anfield in Saturday's evening kick-off, although Christian Benteke could be absent for more than a month.

Both were forced to withdraw from their international squads, Firmino with a hamstring problem picked up before the break and Benteke with a knee injury sustained before Belgium's first game.

Jürgen Klopp confirmed that Firmino would be "close" to returning to the starting line-up, but that the Brazilian would face an assessement at Melwood over the final 24 hours before the game.

Speaking at his pre-Tottenham press conference on Friday, the Reds boss insisted that "the dilemma is not too big" but that "not too much has changed in a positive way." 

He explained that the Reds "had problems with the Belgian players" with Divock Origi also forced to drop out of the Belgium squad "because of a little muscle issue." However, Klopp insisted that Origi is "back in training now" and is "available."

The outlook for Benteke's injury is much more serious however, as the German hinted at by saying: "It's completely different with Christian. At this moment he is not available and we have to wait for further assessments to know how exactly it will be."

With suggestions that the striker, who recently voiced his disappointment at his lack of playing time under Klopp, may have damaged his lateral collateral ligament and faces at least a month on the sidelines, the manager added that "for sure there is no chance" of Benteke playing against Spurs.

"Roberto Firmino will be close," he added, explaining that they "have to make a decision" on the day of the game and "will see" how fit the Brazil international is a few hours before kick-off.

He insisted that they "cannot put pressure in this situation" and instead must "wait and see how he feels" ahead of the game, with Klopp continuing that it's "good" that "most of the players came back healthy."

Klopp: Why wouldn't I want Sturridge to play at the Euros?! It's one of the best things he can do

Sturridge enjoys a laugh in Liverpool first-team training at Melwood on Friday 1st April. (Picture: Getty Images)
Sturridge enjoys a laugh in Liverpool first-team training at Melwood on Friday 1st April. (Picture: Getty Images)

One of those to return fully fit was Daniel Sturridge, who made his first appearance for England in over 18 months on Tuesday night and emerged without any issues. 

Questioned as to whether his fitness could be affected by the Euros in the summer, with Sturridge a potential striking option for Roy Hodgson's Three Lions, Klopp joked: "If I say that I wish Daniel would have a real summer holiday and not have to go to the Euros, then what kind of manager would I be?!"

He explained that playing for their national team at an international tournament is "the best thing a player can do" and said: "I really hope he can be a part of that."

Klopp declared that Sturridge is currently in "the best situation" the club have had since his arrival back in October because he "joins in all sessions" and "had 60 minutes for the national team against the Netherlands" which he called "absolutely okay."

The boss did admit that the striker is "still on the way to being fully fit" but is getting "better and better" which is "pretty good" for the club. He said that Sturridge is "very important" for the team and can "hopefully" stay fit "until the end of the season."

On the Englishman's hopes of representing his country in France, he said that Hodgson has "a lot of good strikers now" but said that if "the better we [Liverpool] play with him, the bigger the chances for all our players to be involved in a nice tournament."

But with a lack of action for Klopp's side having already affected Benteke's hopes of making Belgium's 23-man Euro 2016 squad, as national manager Marc Wilmots recently admitted, his chances have been even further damaged by his injury - which could potentially limit him to just a handful of appearances before the end of the campaign. 

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