Jurgen Klopp has allayed fears over Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s fitness after the midfielder’s comeback for Liverpool’s under-23s on Friday ended prematurely.
The 25-year-old was scheduled to play 45 minutes in the Premier League 2 match on his first competitive appearance since a serious knee injury last April but came off just before half-time with a minor hamstring issue.
His withdrawal was purely precautionary and Klopp said there was nothing to be concerned about.
“It’s not really surprising, it’s normal. The good news is the knee is perfect – nothing happened, that was our only concern,” he told liverpoolfc.com.
“Football games are different to football training, that’s why he felt the muscle a little bit, and thank God we were smart enough to take him off, even if it was only five minutes earlier than we thought.
“That made absolute sense. Nothing else happened.
“We always said he needs time. Maybe I’m a bit guilty for being too excited about it: if nobody asked me I wouldn’t start talking about Ox, to be honest, but they ask me and I say the truth – and the truth was it looked so exciting in training.
“But it’s only small-sided games, shooting situations and all that but, at the end of the day, we all need to make sure we are ready for the big-size pitch.”