Liverpool have suffered an injury blow ahead of their trip to Leeds United next weekend after Takumi Minamino picked up a knock while on national team duty.
The Japan international was forced to withdraw from the squad after picking up an injury and won’t be able to feature in Tuesday’s World Cup qualifier against China.
Although the 26-year-old was called up by Hajime Moriyasu last week, he didn’t feature in his nation’s 1-0 defeat to Oman on Thursday.
“Midfielder Takumi Minamino (Liverpool FC) has been withdrawn from the team due to an injury at SAMURAI BLUE, which is active for the Asian final qualifying (Road to Qatar) China national team match,” read a statement from the Japan FA (as relayed by the Liverpool Echo).
It continued: “We will inform you of additional convened players to replace Minamino as soon as they are decided.”
Despite Minamino not playing a single minute of Liverpool’s 2021/22 campaign so far, Reds manager Jurgen Klopp is still likely to be gutted to learn of the 26-year-old’s recent setback.
The former RB Salzburg forward is set to join Roberto Firmino on the treatment table after the 29-year-old was forced off the field against Chelsea in the first half last weekend.
That leaves just the out-of-form Divock Origi as backup to a front three of Mohamed Salah, Diogo Jota and Sadio Mane, meaning that Klopp is desperately short of options in the final third of the pitch.
The Merseysiders will be hoping to maintain their solid start to the new campaign when they travel to Elland Road to face Leeds following the international break, but they’ll have to do so without a selection of their forward players. News of Minamino’s injury will not amuse his club manager.