Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has been added to Liverpool’s Champions League squad with the Reds midfielder close to a return from injury.
Oxlade-Chamberlain suffered a serious knee injury in last year’s Champions League semi-final with Roma and it had been feared he would miss all of the 2018/19 season.
However, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp revealed last month that Oxlade-Chamberlain was close to returning.
Following footage of the England international back in training, Klopp told liverpoolfc.com: “I didn’t lie, I said when you see him moving it is just unbelievable, he looks completely fine. The situation is now that we have to build endurance.
Klopp did stress that The Ox would not be rushed back from the injury.
“What they did so far, it makes sense. You do the things to make sure the knee is again at 100%.
“That’s obviously the case and that’s good, but from that moment on then you need time to adapt to the intensity of the game and that will take a while. But I pretty much can’t wait until we can involve him, at least for [a few] minutes. It is so nice.
“He had hard times in the year – and in the end it pretty much will be a year – but he dealt with it in an impressive way, to be honest. Still, everyone knew he had a hard time, but since five or six weeks [ago] you can see he sees the end, the light at the end of the tunnel, and that gave him a massive boost, gives us a massive boost, so now it is really close.
I don’t think we talk about patience so much now, he needs fitness. He is not injured anymore, that’s what I would say, but he is not match-fit and that’s a massive difference.
Klopp added that Oxlade-Chamberlain would not be considered until he is “100% in all parts of the game” saying that “anything else after not playing for a year pretty much, the risk would be higher.
“There is no reason for any risk. We want to keep him fit and healthy and use him for the next years.”
Oxlade-Chamberlain joins Ben Woodburn and Ki-Jana Hoever in being added to the squad for the knockout stages of the competition.
Liverpool play Bayern Munich in the last-16, with the first leg taking place in Anfield on February 19.