Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has given an update on Naby Keita's return to fitness, claiming that the 24-year-old is 'close' to making a comeback to first-team duties.
Keita has been sidelined since sustaining a hip strain before the UEFA Super Cup final against Chelsea in Istanbul last month.
The Guinea international returned to first-team training on Friday but Klopp explained the mid-week trip to MK Dons is a more realistic comeback than Sunday's Premier League meeting with Chelsea.
In quotes on the Liverpool website, the German stated: “He [Keita] is close but the matchday squad is not yet the target. It is a few sessions training with the team.
“We’d only put him in [at Chelsea] if we didn’t have enough players but I hope we will have enough players for the matchday squad. Wednesday is the target I will say and then we will see.”
Formerly a standout performer in the Bundesliga, Keita moved to Merseyside in the summer of 2018 in a £54m deal from RB Leipzig and was expected to have an instant impact in Liverpool's push for the Premier League title.
However, the energetic midfielder's time at Anfield has been marred by several injury niggles, while, when fit, he has struggled to merit a regular starting berth in the Reds stacked midfield.
With Jordan Henderson, Georginio Wijnaldum, James Milner and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain all fighting for minutes in midfield, Keita faces strong competition when he returns.
Prior to his fitness issues at the business end of 2018/19, Keita had begun to show flashes of his best form, scoring against Southampton, Huddersfield and Porto in April, before sustaining a season-ending thigh injury.