By North-west correspondent Alex Stevens
Mamadou Sakho is in line to return for Liverpool’s Premier League clash at Watford on Sunday week, Jurgen Klopp has revealed.
The French centre-back has missed the Merseysiders’ last six matches with a knee injury sustained in their 2-1 defeat against Crystal Palace on 8 November.
He was ruled out for six to eight weeks with ligament damage and was not expected to play again this year.
But Sakho is ahead of schedule and is in contention for Liverpool’s trip to Vicarage Road on 20 December.
Speaking at his media conference on Saturday afternoon ahead of Liverpool’s home match against West Brom on Sunday, Klopp said: “Mama had his first training session with the team yesterday. If nothing happens and he carries on in training, that’s what he needs now, and if he has no more issues with the knee, he can be a real option for us.
“Next week he is available if nothing more happens.”
Sakho’s impending return is a boost to the club ahead of the busy festive period. No-one at Liverpool has a better passing accuracy this season than his 91 per cent.
Sakho had become the third Anfield first-teamer to suffer a serious knee injury within a month even though scans revealed he did not follow Danny Ings and Joe Gomez by tearing his anterior cruciate ligament.
Meanwhile, Jordan Ibe is set to be named in the Liverpool squad to face West Brom on Sunday after suffering from a cold earlier in the week.
“Jordon is better than three days ago,” Klopp explained. “Yesterday we took him on to the pitch for a warm-up and some running to feel a bit better after his cold, although it was a little it more than that.
“We’ll see how he is. But I think he’s available for the squad.”