Liverpool midfielder Arthur Melo is facing up to four months out of action because he needs surgery on an injury suffered in training at the start of the week.
Having worked hard on his fitness during the international break, Arthur was left out of Liverpool’s Champions League win over Rangers on Tuesday as a result of the muscle problem the day before.
Now, following several days of medical assessment, The Athletic has reported that a decision has been made for the Brazilian to go under the knife before the end of the weekend.
Arthur, on loan at Anfield from Juventus, won’t play again until 2023 and is expected to miss between three and four months while he recovers.
A four-month layoff would mean Arthur does not return until early February, by which time more than half of his loan deal will have elapsed. Once recovered, he will need to work on his match fitness and having played so little in recent months as it is, that could take some time.
Overall, it likely reduces the chances of Liverpool exercising their €37.5m (£33m) option with Juventus to make the transfer a permanent one next summer.
It is a major personal blow to the player, who had recruited a personal physio, fitness coach and nutritionist to work alongside Liverpool staff to help get him ready to play.
The former Barcelona midfielder had been working with Liverpool’s Under-23 squad, even featuring as an over-age player in the EFL Trophy and Premier League 2 to build his fitness. He has had only 13 minutes on the pitch with the first-team as a substitute against Napoli in the Champions League.
For more from Jamie Spencer, follow him on Twitter and Facebook!