Blow for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain as he makes his return from injury for Liverpool's Under-23 side
Liverpool midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has suffered a setback in his efforts to return to full fitness, after his comeback game was cut short by a muscle injury.
Oxlade-Chamberlain made his first appearance since picking up a serious knee injury last April in Liverpool's Under-23 game against Derby on Friday, but he limped out of the game after 40 minutes after feeling discomfort in his leg.
"He obviously had a bit of an issue but hopefully it’s nothing major," said Liverpool Under-23 boss Neil Critchley. "The bonus for him is that it's not his knee, so he’s delighted there are no problems with that.
"He was enjoying himself, he was happy to be back playing. Hopefully when he wakes up in the morning, fingers crossed it’s nothing and only a precaution.
"The idea was only ever to play him for 45 minutes at most anyway. He nearly got that, as well.
"Hopefully it's not as bad as it first looked. He was looking over [to the bench] and we weren't sure. It's maybe some kind of muscle problem and maybe one to assess tomorrow.
"What was good is that he was sensible. He came off quite quick. He has handled that situation quite well."
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said earlier on Friday that he was hopeful of having Oxlade-Chamberlain back in his team for the final weeks of this season.
"Ox is a very smart boy and it is clear that he needs some sessions to prepare himself for a game," Klopp said. "It was a long time he was out so we need to be sensible but we think the right time is now. We are excited of course."
The initial assessment of Oxlade-Chamberain's injury suggests a first team comeback could still be a few weeks away, with Liverpool set to face a crucial few days in his absence as they take on Burnley in the Premier League on Sunday and Bayern Munich in the Champions League next Wednesday.