Jurgen Klopp has lifted the lid on Adam Lallana's injury progress and revealed why he chose to select the starting lineup to begun Liverpool's win over Stoke on Wednesday.
The England international was thought to be on the cusp of a first team return after a lengthy injury lay-off, but his place even among the subs' bench wasn't on show in the Potteries and left Liverpudlians wondering if Lallana had suffered a setback in his rehab programme.
Klopp, however, told the club's official site that Lallana and centre-back Ragnar Klavan were not available for the 3-0 victory over Mark Hughes' men due to precautionary measures.
He explained: “Raggy [Klavan] is ill, that’s how it is at this time of the year, in late November in the north-west of England - it can happen.
“And Adam, it’s a minor muscle thing, nothing really serious but he needs a few days to recover from that and then he’s back in training and then in the squad."
A Mohamed Salah brace and a Sadio Mane strike ensured the points returned to Merseyside with Liverpool as they made it eight wins from the past nine encounters with Stoke.
The Reds secured all three points on an evening where Klopp decided to rest stars such as Philippe Coutinho, James Milner, Daniel Sturridge and Jordan Henderson, while top scorer Salah emerged from the bench in the second half.
The German went on to add that he needed to freshen up his team ahead of a packed December fixture list, and admitted that those who impressed at the Bet365 Stadium had given him food for thought ahead of the weekend clash with Brighton.
He added: “[The team is about] bringing the quality we have on the pitch and bringing freshness. In this period you still need to have intensity in your game and you can have intensity every three days if you make the change, and that’s why we do it.
“I’m really happy about the line-up, to be honest. I hope we can perform, of course, but I show the faith and the boys show their quality – that would be cool.”