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Joe Gomez ready for Liverpool return

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Joe Gomez has handed Liverpool another huge boost in their quest to win the Premier League title.

The England international, 21, has been out since suffering a fracture to his lower left leg during a win at Burnley in December.

Initially, Gomez was only going to be out for a few weeks but complications have since arrived and he has had to have surgery and further treatment to rectify the issue.

Speaking ahead of Liverpool’s UEFA Champions League quarterfinal second leg at Porto on Wednesday (Liverpool have a 2-0 lead from the first leg), Jurgen Klopp revealed Gomez is now available for selection and has travelled with the team to Portugal.

“Absolutely [he looks strong]. Ox and Joe both did really well at Leicester, it was a brilliant game by all of the boys, to be honest, I watched it back. It looked really good,” Klopp said. “It’s clear they still need time to get full match fitness but it’s nice to have them back and now Joe first as an option. He played right full-back, we need him as this option as well. We all know he played a wonderful season at the centre-half position until his injury, but he can play both and it’s good to have him.”

Klopp now has a lot of options in defense, as Joel Matip has stepped in and played pretty well alongside Virgil Van Dijk over the past few months, as losing Gomez for a pivotal stretch of the season was a big concern for Liverpool. Even though Matip has filled in well, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Virgil van Dijk and Andrew Robertson are clearly Liverpool’s first-choice back four.

With Dejan Lovren out with illness, getting Gomez back is a big deal for Liverpool as the composed center back was developing a superb relationship with VVD in the heart of Liverpool’s defense. However, with only TAA as a right back option and the likes of James Milner having to fill in there at times, it seems likely Gomez will rotate in that full back role in the final weeks of the season rather than disrupt the Matip-VVD partnership.

Mark this down as another big plus for Liverpool in their quest to win the league title for the first time since 1989-90.

In other injury news, Klopp also confirmed that Lovren is out of the game against Porto, while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain needs more fitness work, Adam Lallana has returned to training and Jordan Henderson is fit after a slight ankle knock against Chelsea.

All in all, good news for Liverpool as they enter a season-defining 10 days.

Klopp: Gomez, Oxlade-Chamberlain coming along well

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Liverpool’s Premier League title push is getting reinforcements.

Joe Gomez is back in training for Jurgen Klopp‘s men, and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is close to heading back to training following a setback due to soreness.

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Gomez has played a little over 1000 Premier League minutes this year, a further 400 coming in the Champions League. The Reds have only lost three of his starts, all in the UCL, and only scored one goal in those contests.

As for Oxlade-Chamberlain, he will fill an underserved need for Liverpool as a playmaking midfielder.

“I spoke to him a second ago; Ox is positive, we are all positive,” Klopp said. “It was a little setback, it was not more, but it was a setback. That’s how it is.”

Klopp said Mohamed Salah has benefited from the break afforded by skipping Egypt matches to rest.

“Now let’s go.”

Liverpool confirms Gomez requires surgery

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Liverpool center back Joe Gomez will undergo surgery to repair his broken leg in order to ensure “a more complete recovery,” leaving the Reds without their 21-year-old center back for much, if not all of the season.

[ PL PREVIEW: West Ham v. Liverpool ]

Gomez was initially expected to miss a month-and-a-half following a tackle from Burnley’s Ben Mee which left the Clarets defender defending the incident as “unfortunate” but “part of the game.”

Here’s Gomez, via LiverpoolFC.com:

“Obviously being out for longer than we’d first hoped for is hard to swallow but it’s part and parcel of the industry. It was an injury caused by an impact, like nearly all the injuries I’ve had in my career, so I know it’s just a case of when it’s fully healed I’m good to go again.”

He signed a new long-term deal days after the injury.

Dejan Lovren remains out of the lineup, while Virgil Van Dijk is battling a minor injury. Joel Matip is healthy, and Fabinho has deputized at center back for the Reds.

Liverpool faces West Ham at 3 p.m. ET Monday on NBCSN (Watch online via NBCSports.com).

Liverpool defender Gomez may require surgery

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Liverpool fans expected the return of Joe Gomez to ease their thin defensive back line, but that may be put on hold.

After Gomez fractured his leg against Burnley, Gomez was expected to be back out on the field in six weeks’ time. But two months after the injury, there is only bad news.

With the 21-year-old still not back on the field, Klopp was asked directly if his defender required surgery to fix the problem. “I don’t know,” Klopp said at his pre-match press conference ahead of Liverpool’s Premier League match against West Ham on Monday. “We will see. It is possible, probably. It is not exactly going how we want, that’s how it is. He needs more time. We will see exactly how we do it.”

While Klopp’s assessment of his defender’s health was somewhat vague, he made it clear the recovery process has not gone according to plan. “There were different moments when we thought we could do this or that. It will take time. We can not say more,” Klopp said.

The inability for Gomez to return to the pitch has presented Liverpool with yet another problem along its back line, one of many. Dejan Lovren may miss the West Ham match with a setback regarding a hamstring injury that has kept him out since early January. Trent Alexander-Arnold has missed the last two matches with a knee injury and the club confirmed he will not return to training until next week. Virgil Van Dijk has played every single minute of the Premier League season but is suspended for the next Champions League match due to yellow card accumulation.

The injuries have forced reserve defender Joel Matip into action alongside van Dijk over the last two games, and the Reds have conceded four goals to Crystal Palace and Leicester City in that span. Jordan Henderson was forced to play right-back in the 1-1 draw against Leicester City, but James Milner will be back from his yellow card suspension to take over in that role.

Burnley’s Mee defends tackle that broke Joe Gomez’s leg

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Joe Gomez is expected to miss the next six weeks after suffering a broken leg during Liverpool’s 3-1 victory over Burnley on Wednesday, but there was absolutely nothing wrong with the tackle which resulted in the injury, according to Clarets defender Ben Mee.

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Mee, who tackled the ball away from the Liverpool defender halfway through the first half, took the opportunity this weekend to defend his tackle, calling it “unfortunate” and saying that strong challenges are “part of the game” — quotes from the BBC:

“I don’t think anything was wrong with my tackle personally. You can’t take tackles out of the game.”

“I’ve seen Liverpool make tackles and get the crowd up and things like that. For me, you can play fair, but you can also play hard as well.

“We’re at the bottom of the table and we need to get out of it, so we’re obviously going to work our socks off to win games. It was just unfortunate and I send my best wishes to him.”

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp seemed to side with Mee’s version of events following the game earlier this week, calling it “the cleanest” tackle made by a Burnley player all game — a clear reference to what he felt was a highly physical outing by the Clarets. Burnley boss Sean Dyche called it a “fantastic tackle.”