Diogo Jota will miss the World Cup after suffering a “pretty serious” calf muscle injury in Liverpool’s win over Manchester City.
The Portugal forward was carried off on a stretcher in stoppage time at Anfield on Sunday.
He appeared to overstretch and was clearly fearing the worst in the immediate aftermath.
The news is bad for Jota, Portugal and Liverpool, whose forthcoming games he will also inevitably miss.
“It’s really not good news. Yes, he will miss the World Cup,” Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said in a press conference on Tuesday.
“It’s a pretty serious injury, calf muscle. Now we have to recover. The process starts like this. That’s the first diagnosis which was pretty clear.
“It’s very sad news for the boy, for us, and for Portugal.”
Klopp said Jota would not require surgery on the injury but that “we’re talking about months” in terms of his lay-off.
“I don’t want to put a number on it. Yes, it will be long,” Klopp said.
He explained Jota had taken the news phlegmatically.
“It’s Diogo and he’s surprisingly OK, so far. He’s an incredibly smart boy and very reflective. I think he knew it when we carried him off the pitch,” Klopp added.
“When I came out we passed each other after the game and he expected what happened. I think in that moment he knew it was a serious one and could be pretty impactful on his World Cup dreams.”
Jota’s injury also leaves Liverpool short of another key attacking player, with Luis Diaz already sidelined until after the World Cup.