Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp said captain Jordan Henderson's return from a foot injury has been put back for the foreseeable future and he would adopt a cautious approach with the midfielder to avoid aggravating the problem.
Henderson, who had been expected to return to training this week, has not featured for Liverpool since early February. But the club have coped well in his absence as they are unbeaten in their last three games, rising to fourth in the Premier League.
"Jordan suffered a little setback and he is not in team training until now," Klopp told reporters on Friday. "When we were here last time I said I hoped he could be in training this week. But we have to wait for this.
"It's only a question of time, unfortunately. There's nothing we can do. But we have to be careful and not take a risk."
Striker Daniel Sturridge will also miss Saturday's league clash against Merseyside rivals Everton with a hip injury while midfielder Philippe Coutinho and striker Roberto Firmino have returned from international duty with Brazil unscathed.
Klopp expressed his frustration after Adam Lallana sustained a thigh injury while playing for England this month, but refused to fault manager Gareth Southgate for selecting the midfielder.
"Obviously I was not happy (with the injury). Somebody says I was relaxed about it, I could not be less relaxed about this - but it is not about blaming Southgate...Sometimes things like this happen," the German managher added.
Klopp admitted he has been impressed with seventh-placed Everton in recent weeks but was also confident his side will put up a fight against their bitter rivals.
"They are close to where they want to be. We cannot ignore this. It is important - and not only because it's a derby.
"They look really confident. But I cannot imagine one reason why we shouldn't be confident too...," he said. "(We will) be aggressive, but not too aggressive and fight for everything to try to make our supporters happy."
(Reporting by Shravanth Vijayakumar in Bengaluru; editing by Mark Heinrich)