By North-west correspondent Alex Stevens
Dejan Lovren has become the fourth Liverpool in little over a month to be sidelined with a knee injury.
A Liverpool source has told Football Insider that the centre-back will miss the Christmas period with the problem he sustained in Sunday’s 2-2 draw with West Brom.
Scans of Lovren’s right knee have revealed the defender, who was stretchered off at Anfield, has not suffered any ligament damage but he has major bruising around the joint and won’t play again until January.
He will miss the entire festive programme as Jurgen Klopp’s side face four Premier League matches against Watford, Leicester, Sunderland and West Ham in the space of 13 days.
Liverpool’s medical staff have allayed fears that Lovren has suffered the kind of long-term injury that ruled out his team-mates Danny Ings and Joe Gomez for lengthy periods within days of Klopp taking the Anfield reins.
But the German will be furious that another Liverpool first-teamer has been sidelined by what was a reckless challenge from Albion’s Craig Gardner.
However, the good news for Klopp is that Lovren’s absence coincides with the return to fitness of fellow centre-back Mamadou Sakho.
The France international is back in full training having missed the past seven matches. Sakho, who had followed Ings and Gomez by suffering a knee injury, is now in line to secure an immediate recall to the starting line up when the Merseysiders travel to Watford on Sunday.