Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has claimed that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's injury recovery remains on track despite the English midfielder being substituted during the first half of an U23 match on Friday.
Oxlade-Chamberlain has been sidelined since April after sustaining a knee ligament injury, however the Reds remain hopeful that the 25-year-old will play a role in the remainder of their season.
The Liverpool manager said regarding Oxlade-Chamberlain's first half withdrawal on Friday (as quoted by Liverpool's official website): “It’s not really surprising, it’s normal. The good news is the knee is perfect – nothing happened, that was our only concern.
“Football games are different to football training, that’s why he felt the muscle a little bit, and thank God we were smart enough to take him off, even if it was only five minutes earlier than we thought [before the game]. That made absolute sense. Nothing else happened.
“We always said he needs time. Maybe I’m a bit guilty for being too excited about it; if nobody asked me I wouldn’t start talking about Ox [Oxlade-Chamberlain], to be honest, but they ask me and I say the truth – and the truth was it looked so exciting in training. But it’s only small-sided games, shooting situations and all that.
“It’s Ox, we all know and love him, that’s cool, but, at the end of the day, we all need to make sure we are ready for the big-size pitch. And for this he just needs time. It’s all good.”
Liverpool will continue their hunt for European glory with a trip to the Allianz Arena on Wednesday night to face Bayern Munich in the second leg of their last 16 Champions League clash.