Klopp hopeful of Henderson return

Liverpool central defenders Mamadou Sakho (left) and Dejan Lovren impressed against Borussia Dortmund on Thursday - keeping African player of the year Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang quiet.
Liverpool central defenders Mamadou Sakho (left) and Dejan Lovren impressed against Borussia Dortmund on Thursday - keeping African player of the year Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang quiet.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON • Juergen Klopp said yesterday that Jordan Henderson's knee injury is serious but that there is still a chance the midfielder could play for England at Euro 2016.

Henderson's hopes of being part of Roy Hodgson's squad for France looked to have suffered a terminal blow when he suffered a knee ligament injury during Liverpool's Europa League draw with Borussia Dortmund on Thursday.

The 25-year-old underwent a scan on Friday and, although the injury does not require surgery, it was estimated he would be sidelined for up to eight weeks - which would not only rule him out of the remainder of Liverpool's season but also hit his Euro 2016 chances.

However, Klopp said it is too early to make such judgments and has suggested his captain could even play for Liverpool again this season.

The Liverpool manager told his press conference before today's Premier League visit of Stoke City: "It (Henderson's injury) is serious, but it's not that serious that there's no hope for us for maybe the last one or two games, and of course there's hope for the European Championship.

"For us he's a very important player... We will do everything for him, for us, that he's back in the race as soon as possible."

Klopp was happy that his defence showed improvement against Dortmund and will be hoping that they can continue staying strong against Stoke. However, he will be without his central midfield duo of Emre Can, who starts a two-game ban, and Henderson.

Striker Daniel Sturridge is set to start, after he was controversially left out of the starting XI against Dortmund - with Divock Origi netting Liverpool's away goal.

But Klopp explained on the club's official website that "now he (Sturridge) is fresh and can play against Stoke".

Stoke will be looking to capitalise if Liverpool are nursing a Europa League hangover.

Said assistant manager Mark Bowen: "We'll be looking to start the game fast and take it to them because you'd hope they might have some sort of hangover from Thursday's game."

THE GUARDIAN, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on April 10, 2016, with the headline 'Klopp hopeful of Henderson return'. Print Edition | Subscribe