Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp admits losing Roberto Firmino for more than a month is a significant blow for his side.
The Brazil forward lasted just 33 minutes as a half-time substitute in the midweek Champions League win over Atletico Madrid before he was forced off with a “serious” hamstring problem.
Even the impending international break cannot come to his rescue as Klopp believes the 30-year-old’s injury will require a longer recovery time.
Having chosen to rotate Firmino with Sadio Mane and Diogo Jota – although not the in-form Mohamed Salah – this season the German has to consider whether to play an unchanged front line week in, week out or try to re-integrate the out-of-favour Divock Origi, who has struggled over the last two years.
“Losing Bobby Firmino is a blow but we’ve known for two or three days it’s a serious injury,” said Klopp.
“We are talking about weeks, I don’t know exactly but more than four – which I would consider a serious injury. Then we have to see. It is Bobby and he is quick healer.
“It’s just before the international break (so) you think they will be ready again after the international break and you (would) take that but that is not directly (going to happen) at the moment. So not good.”
Klopp is, however, hopeful he will get at least a couple of his injured players back later this month.
Both midfielder Curtis Jones (eye) and defender Joe Gomez (calf) will miss Sunday’s trip to West Ham.
“Curtis I am sure (will be back). It was a weird one in training where he got a finger scratching his eye,” added Klopp.
“He is on a good way back but is not allowed to train at the moment and he will be back after the international break. Joe soon after the international break.”
Midfielders James Milner and Naby Keita (both hamstring) are longer-term absentees who could also be back.
“For them I have hope for after the international break but I don’t know exactly,” said Klopp.
“That’s two weeks and a few days from now so that’s what I would really wish for – I cannot promise that but that’s what we are working on.”