By Alex Taylor
Loris Karius could be back in training for Liverpool next week after suffering a pre-season injury in July.
The German shot-stopper was sidelined after breaking a bone in his hand during Liverpool’s pre-season clash with Chelsea in Los Angeles.
Karius, 23, advanced his recovery earlier this week as support wires were removed from his hand and the original fracture healed.
“I don’t really think I am going to need a long time to be back on my best level,” Karius told the Liverpool website.
“My body is there, it’s ready, it’s just the one hand I need to be sure of now and that it’s not giving me any problems.
“I am pretty sure next week I will feel fine. Obviously I can’t say 100 per cent because I’ll need to see how it is when I am in full training next week, so we’ll see, but I don’t think it is going to be long now.”
The former Mainz keeper joined Liverpool in May for a fee of £4.7million, and signed a five-year contract.
Karius was given a show of faith by manager Jurgen Klopp after receiving the number one jersey, most recently worn by Brad Jones, who was released by the club in the summer of 2015.
The 6ft 2in youngster looks likely to replace Simon Mignolet as the club’s number one keeper when fully fit.
Mignolet became the subject of intense criticism last season after a string of high-profile errors lead to questions surrounding his future at the club.
Rumours of the 28-year-old’s departure were put to bed after the keeper signed a new five-year-contract in January, but the jury is still out on his first-team place.
The Belgium shot-stopper made four key mistakes last season that were said to directly cost Liverpool eight points.
Karius, who is yet to feature for his new side in a competitive match, has 127 career appearances and kept 40 clean sheets in that time.