Jurgen Klopp: "Joel is in full training. Now we will have to make a decision, we will see how that will be tomorrow. Yesterday he trained completely normal"; watch Liverpool vs Burnley live on Sky Sports Premier League and Main Event on Thursday from 7:30pm; kick-off 8pm
Thursday 21 January 2021 21:57, UK
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says Joel Matip has returned to full training but will face a late fitness test ahead of their match against Burnley.
Matip has missed Liverpool's last four matches after suffering an adductor injury against West Brom on December 27.
Klopp was forced to play two midfielders - Jordan Henderson and Fabinho - at centre-back in Sunday's goalless draw with Manchester United, a result which saw Liverpool drop to fourth in the Premier League after wins for Manchester City and Leicester.
The defending champions next face Burnley at Anfield on Thursday, live on Sky Sports, and Klopp is hopeful Matip can make his return to the side.
"Joel is in full training. Now we will have to make a decision, we will see how that will be tomorrow," said Klopp at his pre-match press conference on Wednesday.
"Yesterday he trained completely normal."
Klopp also confirmed Diogo Jota is still a number of weeks away from a return after suffering a knee injury against Midtjylland on December 9.
"Diogo is still a few weeks away, I don't know exactly how long but it will not be in the next one or two weeks," added Klopp.
"He needs time, the injury needs time. How much I miss the player is not important because when the player is not there, we are not allowed to miss him. We never think like that.
"That is why we have to deal with the situation, that is what we've done and we'll all be happy when, hopefully in the near future, he will be back again."
Klopp also revealed that Virgil van Dijk has made "really promising" progress in his rehabilitation from an anterior cruciate ligament injury.
Van Dijk has missed the majority of the season after sustaining the injury in a challenge with Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford during the Merseyside derby on October 17.
Klopp has confirmed the 29-year-old is progressing well in his recovery but says it is too early to predict a potential return date for the Netherlands international.
"I don't know what is possible and what is not possible, I don't know if I'm the right person to judge that 100 per cent, but he looks really good," said Klopp.
"I spoke with him this morning on the phone and he is in a really good mood, so it is all very promising. But I don't know when he will be back.
"There are a lot of stages still to go over and to pass - that is clear. I had this injury myself.
"But for the time we are in, for how long he is out now and how long the rehabilitation has been going on, he looks really, really promising."
Liverpool have not won in their last four Premier League matches and have also not scored in their last three league games - their worst run since 2005.
However, Klopp insists their current form is not the "catastrophe" it is being made out to be.
"I understand the need to talk all the time about it but we cannot change it in a minute," he said.
"Most of the things the public thinks of we do as well but someone has to be calm in this situation, it is not a catastrophe.
"It is not perfect but I saw a lot of good signs again in the Man United game but because we didn't win, nobody was interested."
Liverpool's front three will soon have to be broken up and Roberto Firmino could be the first man to make way, according to Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher.
Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Firmino have been instrumental in Liverpool's success under Jurgen Klopp, scoring 183 Premier League goals between them across the last four seasons.
But their form has come under scrutiny lately following a run of three games without a goal in the Premier League, including Sunday's scoreless draw with Manchester United at Old Trafford.
Speaking on Monday Night Football, Carragher pointed out that the trio have already been together for longer than other great Premier League front threes and while he expects Mane and Salah's form to improve, he is less sure of Firmino's long-term prospects.
"When we talk about this Liverpool team, we talk about the front three," said Carragher. "It's almost like they come as a package.
"The reason I say that Liverpool's front three is unique is not that they are better than other front threes, it's how long they've stayed together.
"They are now in their fourth season and the great front threes in the Premier League have normally only been together for two or three years.
"We're now in year four for Liverpool and we're maybe going to go into year five because they've all got two or three years left on their contracts.
"They are all getting to their late 20s and sooner or later that front three will have to be broken up You can't, in two years' time, say 'we're going to buy a new front three' and replace them all. It will change over time.
"At this moment, I think Mane and Salah are going through poor form. It happens. I'm still confident that Mane and Salah will start scoring goals again, but I must say I am worried for Firmino."