The Cameroonian’s return to the first-team action may have to wait, as the Reds’ boss wants to ensure he recovers from his injury properly
Joel Matip is close to returning to training, according to Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp.
The former Cameroon international suffered an ankle ligament injury in the 3-1 triumph over Tottenham Hotspur in January.
And as a result of that setback, he was ruled out of the rest of the 2020-21 campaign as the Reds surrendered their Premier League title to Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City.
Nevertheless, the 29-year-old was part of the English top-flight side’s 34-man squad currently preparing for the new season in Austria.
On Tuesday, Matip joined in the day’s first session alongside Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez, and Trent Alexander-Arnold as the quartet continue on the road back to the first team.
While giving an injury update on the four players, the former Borussia Dortmund boss insisted the African star would not be rushed into training with the first team.
“No, they aren’t [at the same level as the others], but it’s different,” Klopp told the Liverpool official website.
“Let’s start with: all four look really good, I have to say. Look really good.
“Now we are in constant talks with the medical department, the fitness department, the rehab department about what is right for them today: do they have to do maybe a little bit more than the rest of the group, do they have to do a little bit less?
“So, especially Virg and Joe will not have double sessions now for the first few days with the team; they have a second session of the day but it’s with Andreas Schlumberger, with the rehab department, physiotherapy, these kinds of things.
“That’s for these two. [They] look really good. I don’t know exactly when we can make the next steps but it will happen in the next four weeks, for sure – we will get a big step forward.
“Joel looks good, absolutely, he is the closest probably to normal training and then we will see when we get him started for playing.”
Matip joined Liverpool in 2016 after representing Bundesliga side Schalke 04 for seven seasons.
The 19-time English top-flight champions will begin their campaign with an away game against Norwich City on August 14.