Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has taken his “warriors” to Dubai for a warm-weather training camp where he will search for a solution to his defensive dilemma.
The Premier League leaders, four points ahead of Manchester City, are not in action this coming weekend because they were knocked out of the FA Cup in the last round.
But James Milner’s sending-off in Saturday’s 4-3 win over Crystal Palace leaves Klopp with a headache at right-back for next week’s visit of Leicester.
Joe Gomez, sidelined with a broken bone in his foot, will step up his recovery in Dubai and could have an outside chance of making the game but Trent Alexander-Arnold is still a couple of weeks away from fitness.
Fabinho would have been an option in a position he has played for Brazil but he came off injured late on against Palace and even if fit he may be needed in midfield, with Georginio Wijnaldum out with a hamstring problem.
Klopp gave 18-year-old Rafael Camacho his Premier League debut for the final few minutes at the weekend and he may be a one-off answer against Leicester.
The Liverpool boss, who has no intention of seeking a solution from the transfer market, told liverpoolfc.com: “Now we need the time to recover obviously, because we had a few injuries.
“Hopefully we can bring a few back. ‘Millie’ (Milner) will be out for sure, unfortunately, but we will see, as long as we have enough players we will find a solution.
“These boys are real fighters,” added the German. “It’s a bunch of proper warriors — I love that. They all stick their leg in or whatever.
“It would have been a massive challenge if we had to play Wednesday and then Saturday. I have no idea how we would have done that, to be honest.
“Now we have two days’ recovery for the boys with the most minutes then we start preparing them for the Leicester game, which is another tough task. It will not be a real break, we have to use it for training.”
jw/pi/mw (Additional editing by Sean McMahon)
© Agence France-Presse