Liverpool injury update: Naby Keita, James Milner, Fabinho, Thiago Alcantara as Preston van den Berg decision made

The Reds have problems in midfield ahead of the Deepdale encounter.

Pep Lijnders has been speaking to the media ahead of Liverpool’s trip to Preston in the Carabao Cup fourth round.

Here are the key points from the Reds assistant boss’ press conference.

Keita latest

Naby Keita was stretchered off during Liverpool’s 5-0 thrashing of Manchester United on Sunday.

The midfielder was on the receiving end of a nasty tackle from Paul Pogba, who was issued a red card after a VAR review.

Luckily, Keita’s setback isn’t too severe but bruising to the shin will keep him out against Preston.

Lijnders said: “It was a bad tackle but luckily Naby’s foot was not on the ground.

“It was just a bruise. We take it day by day but it’s looking better and better but the bruise is painful

Milner time frame

James Milner suffered a hamstring problem against Man Utd. Picture: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

James Milner also limped out at Old Trafford when suffering a hamstring injury in the first half.

The veteran will be sidelined until after next month’s international break.

Lijnders said: “Millie felt his hamstring getting tight. Greenwood went down the line and James Milner, knowing how is is, went down the line to stop the counter-attack.

“It says a lot about his willpower and how he always puts the team first.

“It looks like he’s out until the next international break.”

Fabinho optimism

To make Liverpool’s midfield crisis worse, Fabinho was not involved against United.

He has a knee injury but could be back for Saturday’s Premier League clash against Brighton at Anfield.

“We assess him day by day,” said Lijnders.

“He’s not ruled out for the weekend but is ruled out tomorrow.”

Thiago’s recovery

Thiago Alcantara receives treatment after suffering an injury in Liverpool’s defeat of Crystal Palace. Picture: PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Image

Thiago Alcantara has missed the past eight games with a calf injury, having sustained the problem against Crystal Palace

He’s at the recocery stage of individual training on the grass but is still not available for selection.

“Thiago is still not available but is progressing well on the pitch with individual sessions,” added Lijnders.

“Brighton will come close, probably not, but he’s almost back and is really important for us.”

Van den Berg decision

Sepp van den Berg is currently on loan at Preston, having spent the second half of last season at the Championship side.

Usually, loan players are not given permission to face their parent club should they meet.

However, Lijnders has confirmed the 19-year-old centre-back is allowed to be involved for the Lilywhites.

He added: “Of course, he should play. If you want to be a chef, you need to spend a lot of time in the kitchen!

“What would be our message if we send young players on loan to get good games and there’s a good game coming and don’t let them play?

“We want to give young players opportunities and, for Sepp, it’s an amazing game.”