Jordan Henderson is unlikely to play again for Liverpool this season and is a major doubt for Euro 2016 after being ruled out for six to eight weeks with a knee injury.
The Liverpool captain was forced off with the problem at half-time in the first leg of the Europa League quarter-final tie at Borussia Dortmund on Thursday.
Manager Jurgen Klopp feared a lengthy absence for the 25-year-old after the 1-1 draw when he described Henderson’s injury as “not a small thing” and those concerns were proven accurate, with Henderson’s club season all but over even though he does not require surgery.
After running tests, Liverpool released a statement on Friday confirming the blow.
“A scan on the knee injury Jordan Henderson sustained during Liverpool’s clash with Borussia Dortmund on Thursday night has shown isolated damage to his lateral collateral ligament,” read the statement.
“Under normal circumstances, an LCL injury can typically lead to anything up to a three-month layoff.
“However, Henderson’s issue appears to be less serious and providing all goes well with the midfielder’s recovery programme, the time out of action could be limited to between six and eight weeks.”
Even a six-week absence would keep Henderson out until May 19, four days after Liverpool’s final Premier League game at West Brom, while the Europa League final – which Liverpool are still in contention to reach – takes place on May 18.
Henderson was part of England’s most recent squad to face Germany and Netherlands but, while he should have recovered in time for Euro 2016 – which begins on June 10 – manager Roy Hodgson may not have seen him in action by the time he names his final squad.
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