Diogo Jota is currently sidelined with a hamstring injury aggravated in pre-season training, with the Liverpool striker expecting to be out for “a few more weeks.”
There was positive news on Tuesday as Jota became the latest player to sign a new contract with the Reds, following Mo Salah, Joe Gomez and James Milner this summer.
But ahead of the Premier League’s opening weekend, the No. 20 is still unable to join his team-mates on the training pitch.
It has been the case since the early days of pre-season, with Jota suffering a recurrence of a hamstring problem during an open session in Thailand last month.
Scans revealed further damage to an injury picked up during the post-season internationals with Portugal, and the 25-year-old subsequently missed all six pre-season friendlies.
Speaking on the announcement of his new deal, Jota explained that he would be missing for “a few more weeks.”
“Unfortunately for me I had an upset in this pre-season because I got injured [in the] last game of the season playing with Portugal,” he said.
“So I was coming back in this pre-season, I felt it a little bit again.
“It will be a few more weeks, I would say.”
It is a disappointing setback for Jota, who has found himself picking up small injuries throughout his two years at Liverpool so far, and leaves him making up for lost time.
With Darwin Nunez arriving as a club-record signing up front and Roberto Firmino showing strong signs during pre-season, there are no guarantees of a starting place upon his return either.
That is a testament to the strength of Jurgen Klopp’s squad, however, with Jota competing with the likes Salah, Nunez, Firmino, Luis Diaz, Fabio Carvalho and Harvey Elliott.
In all likelihood, Jota will not feature until September, and possibly not even until after the international break, given he will be required to get up to speed after missing the pre-season preparations.