(Reuters) – Liverpool coach Jurgen Klopp said on Tuesday that the Portuguese national team suffered a major blow ahead of the World Cup after striker Diogo Jota was excluded from the Qatar Championship due to a calf injury.
Jota, 25, was carried on a stretcher in stoppage time in Liverpool’s 1-0 win over champions Manchester City last weekend.
“It’s not really good news, he will miss the World Cup. It’s a very serious calf muscle injury and the operation starts now,” Klopp said, adding that Jota would not need surgery.
“Everything else will come in the next few days. It’s very sad news for the player, for us and for Portugal (…) I don’t want to make time for her (for his return). It will be like that. A long time.”
Jota, who scored 10 goals in 29 appearances for Portugal, was on the mend after missing the first weeks of the season with a hamstring problem.
Asked how Jota took the news, Klopp said: “He’s surprisingly good so far, he’s a smart kid and he knew that when we took him out. He knew it then.”
Jota is the second Liverpool player to be injured in less than a week, after Colombian Luis Fernando Diaz was left out of the squad with a knee injury.
Liverpool occupies eighth place in the league table with 13 points from nine matches, only two points behind West Ham, who are in 12th place.
(Reporting by Dhruv Mongal in Bengaluru; Editing in Spanish by Javier Lira and Daniela DeSantis)
“Reader. Beer practitioner. Web expert. Subtly charming travel geek. Friendly music specialist.”