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Minamino adds to Firmino injury headache for Liverpool after withdrawing from Japan squad

Minamino adds to Firmino injury headache for Liverpool after withdrawing from Japan squad

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The 26-year-old forward has picked up a knock on international duty that is forcing him to return to Anfield ahead of schedule

Liverpool have been handed another attacking injury headache with the news that Takumi Minamino has been forced to withdraw from the Japan squad.

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The Reds lost Roberto Firmino to a hamstring problem during their last Premier League outing against Chelsea.

That knock could have seen a door open for Minamino, as he looks for his first domestic minutes of the season, but he has also been forced onto the treatment table.

What has been said?

A statement from the Japanese FA on their official website reads: “Midfielder Takumi Minamino (Liverpool FC) has been withdrawn from the team due to an injury ahead of the Asian final qualifying (Road to Qatar) China national team match. 

“We will inform you of additional convened players to replace Minamino as soon as they are decided.”

How long will Minamino be out for?

No timescale has been put on Minamino’s recovery, with the Japanese FA offering no indication as to the severity of his injury.

He was, however, unable to play any part in a 1-0 defeat to Oman on Thursday and will also sit out a crunch clash with China on Tuesday.

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Liverpool will be hoping that the versatile 26-year-old is not out of action for long.

Brazil international Firmino is expected to be sidelined for a couple of weeks after being forced off during a 1-1 draw with Chelsea at Anfield.

Minamino could have provided useful cover in the attacking third of the field, as he can operate as a creative midfielder or a central forward.

Jurgen Klopp may, however, be down to just Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah, Divock Origi and Diogo Jota by the time Liverpool return to action away at Leeds on September 12.

The Reds boss has seen his decision not to bring in striking reinforcements questioned by some on the back of another quiet transfer window, with the loss of Minamino to an untimely knock further highlighting the lack of depth on Merseyside.

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