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Jurgen Klopp admits Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain may not play for Liverpool this season

Oxlade-Chamberlain suffered a serious knee injury on April 25 and hasn’t been in action since then.

SNS | New Delhi |

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s recovery from knee surgery may be going well, but Liverpool fans have been stunned as manager Jurgen Klopp revealed that the midfielder will likely not participate in any competitive match during the entire 2018/19 season.

The news comes as a hammer blow for the Reds faithful, but according to Klopp, the club and the player knew about it all along.

“It feels like now is an appropriate time to tell people that for Ox this coming season will be about focusing on recovery and rehab,” Klopp was quoted as saying by the club website.

Oxlade-Chamberlain, after transferring from Premier League rivals Arsenal for a fee of £35 million last year, came into his own in the 2017/18 season, but his progress was cruelly cut short by a serious knee injury in April 2018.

“We have known this from pretty much the day after he got the injury and after the successful surgery, we were sure of it. I hope everyone treats this information responsibly. There has been no change, no setback – it’s exactly on the schedule we expected and planned for. The new information is that we’re now giving more detail publicly.”

While the initial prognosis effectively ruled him out of the remainder of the campaign and the 2018 FIFA World Cup, fans were hopeful that they could see him return to the pitch by the end of the year.

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“It is typical of Ox that he didn’t want the news to overshadow the end of the season and, to be quite honest, we thought we could wait and tell people at an appropriate time. His surgery – which he had on the day of our second leg in Roma – has been completely successful and his recovery has started superbly well.”

“But the truth of the matter is that we are preparing this season knowing he will not be with us on the pitch for competitive matches for the majority of it. If we do see him back this season it will be a bonus.”

With the summer arrivals of Fabinho and Naby Keita, Oxlade-Chamberlain’s injury blow is softened somewhat, but it does leave the Reds short of options in the middle of the park.

“It is so important – because of how valuable and important he is to what we are looking to do here in the coming seasons – that the focus is on doing this right and not rushed. Ox is completely on board with this approach.”

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German midfielder Emre Can departed on a free transfer to Juventus in the summer, leaving Jordan Henderson, James Milner, Georginio Wijnaldum and the aforementioned new signings as the fit senior options at Klopp’s disposal.

“I cannot wait to have him back with us for matches, but we will wait for him and we will show the patience that is required to make sure he comes back ready to continue where he left off: as one of the most outstanding performers in European football in that moment,” Klopp added.