Liverpool defender Joe Gomez faces at least six weeks on the sidelines with a fractured leg after he was pictured leaving hospital on crutches on Thursday.
Gomez was earlier seen hobbling to the Spire Hospital, having been taken off on a stretcher in the win over Burnley on Wednesday night.
And Liverpool have now confirmed that he will be out for the rest of 2018 with his return ‘dependent on how his treatment and rehabilitation programmes progress’.
The England international was forced to unsteadily make his way up the disabled ramp to the hospital and wore a protective boot on his left foot.
December 8: Bournemouth A
December 11: Napoli H (UCL)
December 16: Manchester United H
December 21: Wolves A
December 26: Newcastle H
December 29: Arsenal H
January 3, 2019: Manchester City A
January 5: Wolves A (FA Cup)
January 12: Brighton A
January 19: Crystal Palace H
His manager, Jurgen Klopp, was angry at the nature of Burnley’s tackling, claiming referee Stuart Attwell should have done more to curb their aggression.
He said after the game: ‘I said to the referee after the first sliding tackle (made) over six or seven yards, when he got the ball and everyone liked it: ‘Please, tell them they cannot do that.
‘It wasn’t a foul but they cannot do that. It’s like bowling because then four or five times it happened. Joe is injured and probably not only a little bit.’
Gomez was clattered by Robbie Brady before a strong Ben Mee challenge saw the full back hurtle into the advertising hoardings and leave on a stretcher midway through the first half.
Klopp became embroiled in a heated discussion with Burnley boss Sean Dyche after the game on the pitch at Turf Moor.
The German later said: ‘Aggression is a part of football but be careful. Sliding over six or seven yards: these times are over. Usually someone will not let you do that.
‘We all want to win and you can choose different ways but someone needs to say: ‘Stop doing that’. Make two more steps and then you are in a normal challenge.
‘Don’t go five yards before you see the player when the grass is wet. It’s unlucky what happened to Joe but the referees have to make sure it doesn’t happen consistently. That’s not how it should be.’
He said on Thursday: ‘I was a bit confused. There were some excellent tackles. The only one that was questionable was Bardo’s (Phil Bardsley).
‘Ben Mee’s was a fantastic tackle and I think Gomez realised that. We send him our best if there is any injury but it wasn’t from a bad tackle.
‘Of course football managers can question whatever they like but I don’t think they can reinvent the rules. I don’t think there’s many fans in this country that want to see tackling go out of the game.’