Ibrahima Konate faces challenges to be fit for Liverpool’s trip to Man City after pulling out of the France squad.
The French Football Federation have confirmed that the centre-back, who missed Liverpool 3-0 win over Brentford on Sunday, suffered a ‘small muscle injury to his left hamstring’ during the warm-up ahead of Liverpool’s clash with Toulouse on Thursday. They have also disclosed that the 24-year-old will remain on the sidelines for at least two weeks.
Jurgen Klopp had previously confirmed that both Konate and Joe Gomez missed Liverpool’s win over Brentford as a result of injury.
“Yeah, both for injury reasons as well,” he said ahead of kick-off.
“We will see how serious it is but they were not available today.”
Konate had already missed two games this year with a previous muscle injury, after missing 21 games because of injury in the 2022/23 season.
Meanwhile, his earlier setback during the current campaign also resulted in him missing the September international break.
Being aware of the defender’s injury record, Klopp hit out at France manager Didier Deschamps following the October international break after Konate played all but three minutes of their Euro 2024 qualifying win over the Netherlands and friendly victory against Scotland.
“I love absolutely everything about Ibou, but the problem is Ibou had injury problems from time to time and Mr Deschamps played him 90 and 87 minutes in the two games (for France),” Klopp told RMC Sport last month after leaving Konate out for the home meeting with Toulouse.
“So we used the time now to give him a little rest. He could have played (against Toulouse) of course, but he has to play on Sunday again.
“That’s why I spoke to Ibou and told him ‘tell Mr Deschamps that’s how you rest a player’. Not three minutes, no, a full 90.
“Besides that, we are more than overly happy with Ibou. Fantastic boy and super player and France can be really happy to have him.”
While Klopp will inevitably anxiously wait to see how well Konate recovers over the international break with a trip to Man City looming on November 25, he’ll at least be relieved that the defender will be spared France duty as the Reds continue to manage the centre-back carefully.