Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson had to leave Germany on crutches on Thursday night following a knee injury that raises some serious doubts over his participation for the rest of this season, and also leaves him sweating on his availability for Euro 2016.
Henderson was replaced at half-time of the first leg at Dortmund’s Signal Iduna Park while manager Jurgen Klopp admits the immediate prognosis is not looking too good.
Henderson tried his best to continue after having treatment late in the first half but Joe Allen stepped into the field in the second half and might feature in Henderson’s place for the rest of the season.
The midfielder will now undergo a scan later today and will be praying the report shows only minor damage to keep him sidelined for weeks rather than months. It is not only Liverpool’s remaining campaign but his place in Roy Hodgson’s England squad which will be on his mind as the damage is assessed further.
The Football Association are believed to be monitoring all the developments over the next 48 hours as much as Liverpool.
“It is really frustrating because each team in the world needs luck (with injuries) and we don’t have a lot,” said Klopp.
“It’s a knee issue. It does not look too good but I don’t want to speculate. Until we have the scan we don’t know, but it is not a small thing.”
In fact, Henderson’s injury luck has been wretched since he was handed the Liverpool captaincy, having out for most the campaign with a heel problem. He will be desperate to make sure his season is not destined to end as it began; on the sidelines.
The Liverpool skipper was out for over three months when he injured his heel back in August against Bournemouth. And the midfielder recently claimed he has been playing with the problem throughout the season but was confident that he is close to regaining full fitness.
The 25-year-old also believed he may not be pain-free until he has a complete break after this summer’s European Championship in France.
Jurgen Klopp will now be forced to negotiate not only Henderson’s absence but also Emre Can’s two-match Premier League suspension, with the German set to miss the next two matches against Stoke City and Bournemouth.
Without Henderson and Can, the likes of Allen, James Milner, Lucas Leiva and three academy graduates Kevin Stewart, Pedro Chirivella and Cameron Brannagan are most likely to compete for starting roles.