Fabinho will be out for more than a month after the Liverpool midfielder injured his ankle during this week’s Champions League game against Napoli.
The Brazilian, who has this season established himself as a first-choice for Jürgen Klopp’s Premier League leaders, was substituted after 18 minutes of the 1-1 draw at Anfield. The 26-year-old will play no part in their congested run of 10 games to the end of December.
A club statement read: “Further assessment on the injury has discovered Fabinho will be out of action until the new year.”
Klopp said: “Absolute bad news. We are not 100% sure how long it will take but it looks sure he will not take part in the Christmas fixtures. We have solutions for the position. We are not the only team with injuries. We have to find a solution and that’s what we will do.”
Adam Lallana, Jordan Henderson and Gini Wijnaldum were mentioned as possible stand-ins, with a reshuffle in the centre likely, but Klopp admitted none represented a perfect like-for-like swap.
“Will the solution be exactly like Fabinho? No, because no one is like Fabinho,” he said.