Fabinho: Liverpool midfielder out injured for up to eight weeks with ankle ligament damage

Melissa Reddy

Liverpool’s Premier League and European ambitions have been dealt a considerable blow with Fabinho facing six to eight weeks on the sidelines after sustaining ankle ligament damage.

The holding midfielder, who has been one of the club’s standout stars in 2019, does not require surgery to rectify the injury picked up during the 1-1 Champions League draw with Napoli on Wednesday night.

Jürgen Klopp was apprehensive rather than optimistic in his post-match assessment of Fabinho’s situation after the awkward collision with Hirving Lozano on 14 minutes and scans have confirmed his fears.

The Brazil international had departed Anfield on crutches with his left ankle in a protective boot and the Reds have confirmed the midfielder will be unavailable until 2020, with Klopp bemoaning the loss.

He said: “It’s absolutely bad news. We’re not 100% sure how long it will take.

”But it looks pretty sure that he will not be involved in the Christmas fixtures.”

An official Liverpool statement added: “Further assessment on the injury has discovered Fabinho will be out of action until the New Year.​

“The Brazilian will begin a rehabilitation programme with the Reds’ medical team at Melwood as he works his way back to full fitness.”

Fabinho grimaces after picking up ankle ligament damage (Reuters)

The setback comes at the worst possible time for Liverpool given their packed December schedule, which includes a Merseyside derby, needing to secure qualification to the knockout stages of the Champions League at Red Bull Salzburg, the Club World Cup in Qatar and a difficult test at Leicester City.

The mooted rehabilitation period would also make Fabinho doubtful for the away trip to Tottenham on January 11, which is followed by the hosting of Manchester United the following weekend.