Philippe Coutinho and Dejan Lovren suffer 'bad injuries' in Liverpool's win at Stoke
By Stephen Turner
Last Updated: 06/01/16 1:57pm
Liverpool's hamstring curse struck again at Stoke as they lost Philippe Coutinho and Dejan Lovren to what Jurgen Klopp called "bad injuries".
Coutinho was replaced in the 18th minute of a Capital One Cup semi-final first leg settled by a single Jordon Ibe goal, and Lovren followed the Brazilian off 16 minutes later with a similar problem.
Kolo Toure also finished the game in obvious discomfort with what Klopp described as "cramp", while Lucas was forced to fill in alongside the Ivorian at centre-half in the absence of Lovren, Martin Skrtel and Mamadou Sakho.
The Reds boss has five players sidelined with hamstring problems, with Daniel Sturridge, Skrtel and Divock Origi all out, and the German told Sky Sports he could now be forced into the transfer market for a defender.
And Klopp admitted he feared the worst over Coutinho and Lovren, saying: "We had for sure two bad - I think, bad - injuries and that's why we're not only lucky tonight."
Asked how bad he said: "I don't know, but two players go out. You watch British football longer than myself so you know what it means usually."
Klopp joked last month that hamstring was "the rubbish word of the year" after a run of injuries, and Sky Sports expert Graeme Souness believes it is time to review the training regime at the club.
Speaking from the studio at the Britannia, the former Liverpool boss said Klopp's preferred pressing style was "a big demand on your legs.
"I just think they're falling foul of that. It's not a coincidence - five hamstrings - I think they have to look at what they're doing in training."
Liverpool have little time for recovery as they face an FA Cup trip to Exeter on Friday and then host Arsenal in the Premier League on January 13.
"We don't train, we only recover, that is the situation now? There is no training," said Klopp. "But it's no problem really. I am responsible for these things and if you want to make me responsible then it's okay.
"We have five hamstrings and it's my responsibility but it is like it is and we have to see what we can do."
Coutinho missed three weeks late last year with a minor hamstring problem, and Klopp can ill-afford to lose any further players at the start of what could be nine games in a month.
The German is not putting a timescale on Sturridge's return, or that of injured captain Jordan Henderson, while Skrtel and Origi remain out along with long-term absentees Danny Ings and Joe Gomez.
Sakho also missed the Stoke game with an unspecified injury and is unlikely to return for the weekend's FA Cup tie at Exeter, and Klopp said: "In this situation with no centre-backs fit I would say [a transfer] is something we could look at.
"Two weeks ago we had three centre-backs, that's a good situation, at the start of the season we had five, now we have none."