Liverpool have announced Joe Gomez is to undergo surgery to aid his recovery from a lower leg fracture.
Gomez suffered the injury in the 3-1 Premier League victory at Burnley in early December, and his club said soon after that initial indications suggested he was facing up to six weeks out.
The Reds gave an update on the England international on Monday, saying in a statement on their official website: “Liverpool can confirm Joe Gomez is to undergo surgery to assist his recovery from a lower leg fracture sustained at Burnley on December 5.
“The defender has been undergoing a rehabilitation programme since suffering the initial break at Turf Moor; however, after further diagnosis, the club’s medical staff believe he will benefit from a further procedure to enable a more complete recovery.
“No timescale will be placed on an expected return date for Gomez, though it’s likely he will feature again this season.”
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp said: “It’s a blow for the boy and for us – because prior to the injury he was in such fantastic shape.
“But he is too valuable to take any risk with, both for our present and future, so we get this procedure done and he comes back when he’s ready.
“His attitude during this rehab has been outstanding but it just hasn’t healed as we’d have liked so we will make this intervention and then he will come back.”
Gomez said: “Obviously being out for longer than we’d first hoped for is hard to swallow but it’s part and parcel of the industry. It was an injury caused by an impact, like nearly all the injuries I’ve had in my career, so I know it’s just a case of when it’s fully healed I’m good to go again.
“The hardest part is not being able to help the team and contribute on the pitch at the moment, so it’s important I come back ready to go and this procedure will help with that.
“My only focus is getting back for Liverpool as soon as possible and I can promise the supporters I’ll be working hard every day to do that.”