Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp admits they “got lucky” with Andy Robertson’s ankle injury despite the left-back being ruled out for the first few weeks of the Premier League season.
The Scotland international had to be helped off the pitch in Sunday’s friendly with Athletic Bilbao and further assessment has revealed a problem which will prevent his involvement against Norwich this weekend and beyond.
Robertson said on Twitter the injury was “nothing too major” but it is understood his absence will still be a number of weeks.
“I think we got lucky with Andy, it could have been much worse,” said Klopp.
“The footage didn’t look too well but we got lucky and it will not be too long. Before the international break (in early September), after the international break, I don’t know.”
Robertson is remaining upbeat despite being pictured outside a Liverpool hospital on Monday with his foot in a protective boot.
“Scan suggests nothing too major but there’s some ligament damage which will need to mend,” he said on Twitter.
“I will be grafting every day so I can help the team again sooner rather than later.”
Robertson’s injury makes it increasingly likely Kostas Tsimikas, who managed just six Premier League minutes in his maiden campaign for the Reds last season, will make his first league start at Carrow Road.
If the 3-1 friendly win over Osasuna was a dress rehearsal for the Greece international then he looked more than comfortable, with his low 21st-minute cross setting up the first of two Roberto Firmino goals after Takumi Minamino had opened the scoring with a deflected shot.
He had one wobble when he gave the ball away close to his own goal and needed centre-back Joe Gomez to come to his rescue as Chimy Avila headed for goal.
Klopp had a moment of concern early in the second half when Jesus Areso clattered into his only remaining fit left-back but Tsimikas, having crumpled in a heap under the challenge, was able to continue.
Tsimikas was even given a chance on free-kicks, although judging by his only effort just before he was taken off in the 71st minute he will not be getting many opportunities in the Premier League.
It was another night of positives with summer signing Ibrahima Konate looking solid and composed in his first 80 minutes at Anfield in a centre-back partnership with Gomez.
After playing the last four months of last season without a recognised centre-back, Klopp now has to choose from a quartet who all look capable of slotting in at Norwich on Saturday.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain started the game in midfield and finished it up front but looked bright throughout the full 90 minutes, especially providing a threat from deep, while Firmino looked like he was enjoying playing in front of a crowd again after a difficult 18 months behind closed doors.
Forward Xherdan Shaqiri was not in the squad as Lyon have made an approach, although not one which meets the club’s £13million valuation, while Nat Phillips, who has been attracting interest from a number of Premier League sides, was also omitted.
The one downside on the evening was another injury, this time to midfielder Curtis Jones who was forced off in the first half with an apparent rib issue after twice being clattered.