Jurgen Klopp opted not to risk his captain in a friendly clash with Blackpool, but the midfielder is not being ruled out of a meeting with the Whites
Liverpool remain optimistic when it comes to Jordan Henderson’s chances of featuring in a Premier League season opener at home to Leeds.
The Reds skipper has been stuck on the sidelines since early July.
A knee problem prevented Henderson from seeing out a title-winning campaign in 2019-20, although he was able to get his hands on a long-awaited trophy.
His rehabilitation has been stepped up ahead of the 2020-21 season, but he is still not ready to step back into the side just yet.
Klopp opted against taking any unnecessary risks in a friendly date with Blackpool on Saturday, but he is expecting Henderson to be in contention for a meeting with the Whites on September 12.
The Reds boss told Liverpool’s official website: “Obviously Hendo was desperate to play a few minutes but it makes no real sense because he had to do an important session.
“If he would have played [against Blackpool], 10 minutes or so would have probably been OK. But that makes no sense. So that was not possible, but he trained in big parts of this week and will probably join full team training next Tuesday.
“Timing-wise, not perfect that he cannot play, but can train a few days later fully. But that’s how it is.
“We will see how he develops, [there are] a few days until Leeds, how the boys come back from the national teams. A lot of open questions still, but a few hopefully we can answer.”
While Henderson missed out against the Seasiders, Joel Matip did return to the Liverpool fold alongside teenager Billy Koumetio at the heart of the Reds’ defence, while James Milner provided cover at left-back in the absence of Andy Robertson and Kostas Tsimikas.
Klopp added: “Joel is fit, he trained now a week with us, which is very important obviously considering the centre-back situation we have.
“Billy so far played an exceptional pre-season; 17 years old, still growing, still learning every day, really nice, so good to give him the opportunity to play in a game like this.
“Millie plays the position not for the first time, both left-backs are obviously not here. And Ki-Jana [Hoever] can play the position very well. Obviously it’s a pretty new last line, but that’s it pretty much.
“Apart from that, we have a lot of offensive players, which is good and we try to bring as many as possible of them together on the pitch – that’s why we play like we play.”