Liverpool fear Joe Gomez has suffered a significant injury while on England duty.
England boss Gareth Southgate is expected to confirm the extent of the blow later but there are major concerns it could be a lengthy lay-off.
That will be yet another huge blow for Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp who is already facing a major defensive crisis.
Central defensive kingpin Virgil van Dijk is expected to miss the rest of the season after suffering a cruciate knee ligament injury in the Merseyside derby at Everton last month.
Right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold pulled out of this England squad after suffering a calf injury to leave Klopp desperately short of defensive options.
Gomez has been the first choice centre-half in Liverpool’s patched-up defence during van Dijk’s absence and now he could be set to miss games.
That only leaves Klopp with one of his recognised centre-halves with Joel Matip now being relied upon in the absence of Gomez and van Dijk.
Matip himself has struggled with a series of injury problems and Liverpool have been forced to use Brazil midfielder Fabinho as an emergency centre-half.
How big a blow is Gomez's injury to Liverpool's hopes of defending the Premier League title? Have your say here.
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Nat Phillips has been drafted into first team action in recent weeks while youngster Rhys Williams has also played in the Champions League.
Klopp has consistently said they will not buy in January but their options are being stretched to the limit and another blow could make them change their mind.
But if Gomez’s injury is a bad one or long term, then it must be seen as a significant blow to Liverpool’s title hopes and ambitions of retaining their Premier League crown.
It will only heighten Klopp’s frustrations having sounded warnings about the strains on players because of only being allowed three substitutes plus the punishing fixture schedule and also international call-ups.
The German, alongside Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola and Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, has been a vocal opponent of the hectic calendar in recent weeks.
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