Salah, Alisson, Alexander-Arnold: Liverpool injury news and return dates ahead of Sparta and Man City matches

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The latest Liverpool injury news ahead of key games against Sparta Prague and Manchester City.

Liverpool have so far emerged unscathed from the past few weeks’ worth of matches despite a long and daunting injury list – but this week they face two fresh challenges when they take on Sparta Prague in the last 16 of the Europa League before a crucial Premier League showdown against title rivals Manchester City. So what kind of shape will the squad be in for these two vital games?

Important players including Trent Alexander-Arnold, Diogo Jota and Alisson have been absent for recent games but perhaps the most important absentee has been leading scorer Mohamed Salah, who was once again unavailable for the last-gasp win over Nottingham Forest on Saturday.

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The good news is that Darwin Núñez, Wataru Endo and Dominik Szoboszlai were back in action against Forest, with all three making their comebacks from the bench as Darwin scored Liverpool’s late and rather controversial winner – but there are plenty of other players who will miss out on this week’s matches.

Below, we’ve collated all the latest updates on his condition as well as news of every other member of the squad who could miss out on Thursday’s trip to Prague and the vital game against the champions at Anfield.

Mohamed Salah

Salah has missed the last three matches after aggravating the hamstring injury he picked up during the Africa Cup of Nations, but is believed to be very close to a return – outgoing manager Jürgen Klopp described his involvement as "touch and go" for this coming week's games, adding that "at any point, it is possible" that the Egyptian returns.

There is a good chance that Klopp keeps him off the pitch against Sparta in order to ensure that he is ready and raring to go when City roll into town on Sunday afternoon. Expect Liverpool to do everything to ensure he can play in what could be the most important game of the season.

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Trent Alexander-Arnold

The England international will not play until after the end of the international break following a knee injury sustained in the win over Burnley earlier in February – he was pictured wearing a leg brace after the EFL Cup victory over Chelsea. No exact return date has been set but Conor Bradley will continue to deputise until at least the end of March.

Alisson

The hamstring injury that has sidelined Alisson for the last six games remains an issue, and Liverpool assistant manager Pep Lijnders recently said that his recovery “will really take time” while Klopp has described it as a “proper muscle injury” with “no real timescale on it”. He is not expected to return until April.

Ryan Gravenberch

Gravenberch was taken off the field at Wembley after finding himself on the receiving end of a badly-timed (and strangely unpunished) challenge from Moisés Caicedo in the EFL Cup final – Klopp has since revealed that the young Dutchman suffered ankle ligament damage. It is not believed to be serious, but Klopp has so far said only “we’ll see” when asked about his availability for matches ahead of the international break, adding that "I don't want to rule out for too long."

Diogo Jota

Liverpool have admitted that they don’t have an exact time frame for the Portuguese forward’s return after he suffered medial ligament damage during the game against Brentford. He will certainly be out of action until after the international break, and there is some concern that he may not play again this season.

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Curtis Jones

Yet another victim of the costly victory at Brentford, Jones was pictured leaving the stadium on crutches after being forced from the field with an ankle ligament injury in the first half. He is unlikely to feature before the international break, with the match against Brighton & Hove Albion on 31 March the earliest likely target. A blow for both Liverpool and Jones’ ambitions of making the Euro 2024 squad.

Joël Matip

The veteran Cameroonian defender will not play again this season thanks to a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament sustained in the 4-3 win over Fulham back at the beginning of December, and may have played his last game for Liverpool given that his contract is up at the end of the season.

Thiago Alcântra

The unfortunate Spaniard may not play against this season thanks to a second consecutive serious injury. Having missed nine months of football after surgery on a hip injury, he made a five-minute comeback against Arsenal before suffering a serious hamstring injury. Like Matip, his contract finishes at the end of the season, and there is real fear that his cameo against the Gunners will prove to be his farewell.

Ben Doak

The talented young winger is set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines after undergoing surgery on a torn lateral meniscus in his knee in December. The typical recovery period after such surgery is three to six months, meaning he is unlikely to return before the end of March and may well not feature again this season.

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Stefan Bajčetić

Having had a big impact in his breakthrough season last year, the teenage Spanish midfielder has endured a torrid second senior campaign and has yet to play thanks to a persistent calf problem. He has since been pictured in training gear as he continues his rehabilitation, but a comeback is not believed to be imminent. No return date has been set by the club.

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