November 22, 2019 / 2:03 PM / 21 days ago

Soccer: Liverpool manager Klopp sweating on Salah fitness ahead of Palace trip

(Reuters) - Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp faces an anxious wait over the fitness of forward Mohamed Salah as the Premier League leaders prepare for a trip to Crystal Palace on Saturday.

Soccer Football - Premier League - Liverpool v Manchester City - Anfield, Liverpool, Britain - November 10, 2019 Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp celebrates after the match REUTERS/Phil Noble

Egyptian forward Salah has been struggling with an ankle injury since a heavy challenge from Leicester City’s Hamza Choudhury during Liverpool’s 2-1 win early last month.

He was ruled out of Egypt’s matches against Kenya and Comoros and was pictured wearing a protective boot on his left ankle last week.

“Yesterday he trained. He has been training the things we want him to do. It’s not that he has got worse, it’s just that it (the injury) is there still,” Klopp told a news conference on Friday.

“We have to be sensible. I have to see the session today before I make a decision.”

Virgil van Dijk is available for selection after he pulled out of the Netherlands squad for the match against Estonia in midweek.

But Klopp is yet to assess the fitness of other key players who have returned from international duty.

“Virgil is 100% available. I cannot say 100% for the others,” the German coach added.

“Today is an important session with the players who came back late - Bobby (Roberto Firmino), Fabinho, Gini Wijnaldum. You have to wait until the last second to make a decision but nobody came back injured.”

Swiss playmaker Xherdan Shaqiri has returned to first-team training after missing over a month due to a recurring calf issue.

Shaqiri has featured for around 25 minutes for Liverpool this season and has made only one start since January but Klopp is convinced the player still has a future at Anfield and will play a key role in the coming weeks.

“When I am with him he is fine here, speculation is speculation and nothing we can change,” Klopp said.

“I have no idea what I can say about it. He absolutely has a future here. This season, he is a very, very important player for us. He needs to be fit for the impact he can give us and that is all we are focused on.”

Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis

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