By North-west correspondent Alex Stevens

Martin Skrtel has suffered a setback in his recovery from a hamstring injury that will sideline for up to three more weeks, it was revealed on Friday.

Skrtel has been absent since limping out of Liverpool’s 3-0 defeat at Watford on 20 December with an injury that was originally expected to keep him out for six weeks.

Jurgen Klopp said earlier this week that the key centre-back would return to training this weekend.

But speaking at his media briefing on Friday afternoon, the Liverpool manager delivered a pessimistic update on the 31-year-old. “Skrtel needs another two or three weeks,” said Klopp.

However, Philippe Coutinho and Divock Origi are closing in on comebacks after returning to full training on Thursday, along with Daniel Sturridge.

Like Skrtel, the attacking trio have all been sidelined with hamstring injuries.

Liverpool are eighth in the Premier League as they prepare to host Sunderland on Saturday and bounce back from their midweek 2-0 defeat at leaders Leicester.