Liverpool’s form and injury issues have helped youngster Stefan Bajcetic cement himself as a key squad member this season.
The young Spaniard has been the most industrious of the Reds’ midfield options, getting more chances after scoring off the bench in a 3-1 win over Aston Villa on Boxing Day.
However, manager Jurgen Klopp’s options in the centre of the park have become even more limited with the news the 18-year-old has picked up an injury.
Midfielder Bajcetic has picked up a stress injury in his thigh. That knock likely came from an accumulation of matches, the last of which was the 1-0 defeat at Bournemouth.
“With Stefan, it is a stress response, which is absolutely bad,” Klopp said. “So, he doesn’t feel a lot, it’s only a little bit but he is now out for I don’t know exactly how long. We have just to let it settle then and we will see when he can come back.”
Klopp added: “[It’s] high up, around the adductor.”
Bajcetic will miss Liverpool’s trip to Real Madrid in the Champions League. The Reds are 5-2 down after the first leg and need a miracle at the Bernabeu to overturn that deficit and reach the quarter finals.
After that clash with Los Blancos, Liverpool aren’t in action again until April. They were knocked out of the FA Cup and their clash with Fulham this weekend has been postponed due to the Cottagers’ involvement in that competition.
It means Klopp’s side are next in action against Manchester City at the Etihad in their first game after the March international break. That gap should give Bajcetic and other injured stars like Jordan Henderson, Luis Diaz and Thiago enough time to recover to be fit in time for their top four push during the run-in.
Liverpool have some big games to perform in once the international break is over. Back to back fixtures with Manchester City and Arsenal could dent their top four ambitions, while they host Tottenham – another team chasing European spots – at the end of April.