By North-west correspondent Alex Stevens
Martin Skrtel is facing a lengthy absence through injury, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp confirmed on Thursday.
Skrtel claimed on Tuesday that he would be sidelined for six weeks after suffering a hamstring tear and tendon injury.
However, Klopp hinted that the centre-back’s absence could be even longer as he gave an update on the situation.
“Martin Skrtel is not too good,” said the Liverpool manager at his media conference on Thursday afternoon. “It’s a hamstring, he needs time but we don’t know how long.”
However, Klopp revealed that Dejan Lovren is ahead of his schedule in his recovery from a knee injury and is set to return to face Premier League leaders Leicester on Boxing Day.
The Croatian had initially been expected to be sidelined until January but Klopp is ready to throw him back into the action this weekend.
“Dejan Lovren is back in training and has trained two days in a row,” explained the manager. “He’s available.”
Goalkeeper Simon Mignolet is back in training after missing the 3-0 defeat at Waford, while James Milner and Daniel Sturridge are not yet ready to return.
Klopp revealed injury-prone Sturridge is still doing his “little pre-season” and added: “He will do this for seven, eight, nine days and then we will see. Mignolet is training but Milner has no chance. We have to wait one, two weeks.”
Skrtel limped off in the first half of the Watford match and had a scan on the injury on Tuesday. He later took to Instagram to deny rumours of a three-month absence, but confirmed a hamstring tear and tendon injury that will rule him out until early February.
Skrtel wrote: “After all rumours going around, I want to say the time I will spend on sideline wont be 3 months. After I suffered tear in my hamstring and tendon I will be out for 6 weeks.
“I will work hard on my recovery and will do everything to come back as soon as possible and even stronger than before! Thanks for your support.”
The 31-year-old is set to miss Premier League games against Leicester City, Sunderland, West Ham United, Arsenal, Manchester United and Norwich City.
He will also be absent for both legs of the Capital One Cup semi-final against Stoke City, plus the FA Cup third round tie at Exeter City.