By Coral Barry
Christian Benteke will miss Liverpool’s League Cup tie with Bournemouth on Wednesday with a knee injury, Football Insider sources understand.
The Belgian striker, who came off the bench to score the Merseysiders’ opening goal in their 1-1 draw with Southampton at the weekend, had a scan on Tuesday, which showed that he has tweaked ligaments.
Benteke is also a doubt for Saturday’s trip to Chelsea as manager Jurgen Klopp’s striker options remain severely limited.
Daniel Sturridge is already sidelined with a bruised knee and Danny Ings will miss the rest of the season after tearing a cruciate ligament, leaving Divock Origi the only fit senior striker.
Klopp was hoping to give Benteke his first start under his Anfield management against Bournemouthbut is not left hoping the Belgian and fellow forward Sturridge can be available for the trip to Stamford Bridge.
Asked about Sturridge’s fitness, Klopp said: “We are still waiting. He is getting better but not quick enough to change the situation for us. I just saw him working in the gym. It is something like a knock – a reaction in the knee and it has fluid inside. He can go, he can walk, he can swim but that’s not going to help him playing football.
“There is fluid in the knee, not too much – that’s why we can say it’s not serious. We don’t have to think about surgery, or things like this but he needs time.
“When he’s back in training he needs to train, it is not possible to come back and then play the next day. That is how football works. I know about his history with injuries of course but I have no experience of this with him.
“That’s another thing I have to learn for sure. If he can train, he can play and before this we don’t have to talk about it.”
Klopp is desperate for more firepower but he is least confident summer signing Roberto Firmino will offer a fresh option following his return to fitness.
“He’s a pretty skilled player. I’d say a year ago for a few months he was best player in the Bundesliga,” Klopp said. “From the first day everyone could see he can be a very, very good player and when I heard Liverpool took him I thought, ‘good choice’.
“He needed time when he came in but when he’s in he’s strong with the ball, physically strong, fast in a good football way, gets his body between opponent and ball. So he is an important player for us and I hope he can play [on Wednesday].”