Alisson, Firmino, Thiago, Minamino and Origi - potential Liverpool return dates amid Covid and injury

Liverpool have 11 players currently unavailable with Mo Salah, Sadio Mane and Naby Keita heading off to AFCON.

<p>Liverpool duo Joel Matip and Roberto Firmino are isolating after testing positive for coronavirus. Picture: Nick Taylor/Liverpool FC/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)</p>

Liverpool duo Joel Matip and Roberto Firmino are isolating after testing positive for coronavirus. Picture: Nick Taylor/Liverpool FC/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

It’s the day that Liverpool knew was coming.

Now the Reds have to negotiate a tricky period without their main two attacking threats.

After Sunday’s 2-2 draw at Chelsea, Mo Salah and Sadio Mane have now jetted off to the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) to represent Egypt and Senegal respectively.

Both were on target in the Stamford Bridge clash and they’ll be a huge miss.

Naby Keita has also linked up with Guinea in their bid to claim AFCON glory.

It means the trio will be absent for up to a month, with Liverpool returning to action when they travel to Arsenal in the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg on Thursday.

To make matters worse, the Reds also have three key players isolating after testing positive for Covid-19 - along with Jurgen Klopp.

There are also five players still on the treatment table.

Here’s a look at when they all could be back.

Alisson Becker, Roberto Firmino and Joel Matip

Joel Matip trained with Liverpool on December 30 before testing positive for coronavirus. Picture: John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

Jurgen Klopp had revealed during his pre-Chelsea press conference that Liverpool would be three players short.

Before kick-off, the trio were the players who had tested positive for Covid-19 were confirmed.

It's difficult to say when exactly Alisson, Firmino and Matip's isolation period started. All featured in the 1-0 loss at Leicester City on December 28, so it's definitely after then.

Alisson and Firmino were not snapped during training when photographs were taken on December 30.

That suggests that the Brazilian duo have been isolating slightly longer than Matip.

Matip was pictured on that day of training so could have tested positive on either December 31 or New Year's Day.

It's almost certain that the trio will be out against Arsenal, while they'd have likely been rested for the clash with League One outfit Shrewsbury in the FA Cup third round on Sunday.

Potential return: Arsenal, Carabao Cup semi-final second leg, Thursday 13 January.

Jurgen Klopp

Not only do three of Liverpool's players have coronavirus, but so does the manager.

Klopp was forced to miss the draw at Chelsea, with his trusted lieutenant Pep Lijnders instead overseeing things on the touchline.

The Reds boss conducted media duties on December 31 so he likely tested positive the following day.

That rules Klopp out for Arsenal. How his day six and seven lateral flow test results return could depend on if he's back for the Shrewsbury game.

If both of those are negative, he’ll not have to isolate for the full 10 days.

The German may allow Lijnders to take charge of the Shrews game regardless.

Potential return: Arsenal, Carabao Cup semi-final second leg, Thursday 13 January.

Thiago Alcantara

Liverpool midfielder Thiago Alcantara. Picture: Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

After just coming back from isolating from coronavirus himself, the midfielder finds himself on the treatment table for a second time this season.

Thiago has suffered a hip issue, meaning he's been unavailable for five games in total.

Klopp admitted that Liverpool are going to have to be patient with the Spain international as they’re unsure how the problem occured.

Potential return: unknown

Takumi Minamino

The Japan international has been absent for the past two games with minor muscle soreness.

Speaking after the Chelsea game, Lijnders admitted that some players still hadn't started team training.

Before the encounters, Klopp confirmed that Minamino was running outside, at least.

The versatile 26-year-old will likely need a full week of training before he's available for action again.

If this week smoothly, he could potentially be available to face Shrewsbury, if not then when Arsenal visit Anfield.

Potential return: Shrewsbury, FA Cup third round, January 9.

Nat Phillips

The defender has been out for almost a month after fracturing a cheekbone in the 2-1 Champions League victory at AC Milan on December 7.

Phillips was set to be on the sidelines for 4-5 weeks. If we're going by the shorter return date, he'll be back on January 4.

However, the centre-back will need a decent period of training until he's available again.

Potential return: Arsenal, Carabao Cup semi-final second leg, Thursday 13 January.

Divock Origi

Like Phillips, the Belgium international hasn't also been seen since AC Milan - in which he notched the winner.

With Salah and Mane now on AFCON duty, Liverpool will be desperate to bolster their attacking options and get Origi back.

On December 21, Lijnders said: "He is still not training with the team so we will miss him."

Potential return: unknown.

Harvey Elliott

Harvey Elliott of Liverpool during a rehabilitation session at AXA Training Centre. Picture: Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Image

The teenage starlet will be hoping to make his comeback this year.

He's recovered from fracturing his ankle at Leeds in September that's ruled him out of action for the past four months.

However, given Elliott's length of absence, Liverpool will need to be patient.

A substantial period of training and maybe even an outing or two in the under-23s might be what's required.

Ensuring Elliott can recapture the sparkling form he displayed before his cruel setback is paramount.

Potential return: unknown.