You always expect the squad to pick up the occasional injury during the season, but it’s hard to think of anything like Liverpool had last season as their senior centre-backs all went down with long-term injuries.
It meant they weren’t able to put up a proper title defence, but there’s plenty of optimism that they’ll back to normal for the upcoming campaign.
Sky Sports have reported on the latest with the fitness of Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez, but it makes sense that Jurgen Klopp is going to play this safe and take no risks in rushing them back:
“It would still be a surprise [if they played against Hertha], unfortunately. They look really good. But look, they do everything, they play football, we do the things we can do, they don’t do too much, we just have to be patient. We prepare for a full season, not a pre-season game.
“I will not risk it for a game here. We have a lot of games still coming, but I don’t see them being involved for the next one.”
There is a huge difference between regaining general fitness to reaching a point where they are strong enough physically and mentally to deal with everything that a game of top-level football throws at the body.
There is good news that they appear to be close to a return and the addition of Ibrahima Konate also buys Klopp more time if he’s able to settle quickly, but it does look like they should return soon.