Liverpool news: Jurgen Klopp suffers injury blow as Joe Gomez undergoes surgery

Gomez has not played for Liverpool since December 5 when he fell awkwardly following a challenge for Burnley’s Ben Mee.

The defender suffered a lower leg fracture and Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp was reluctant to put a definitive date for his return.

But Liverpool have confirmed Gomez will have an operation to “enable a more complete recovery”.

Klopp told “It’s a blow for the boy and for us – because prior to the injury he was in such fantastic shape.

“But he is too valuable to take any risk with, both for our present and future, so we get this procedure done and he comes back when he’s ready.

“His attitude during this rehab has been outstanding but it just hasn’t healed as we’d have liked so we will make this intervention and then he will come back.”

Gomez is likely to miss at least the next month of action which includes games against Bayern in the Champions League and Manchester United in the Premier League.

But the 21-year-old is determined to remain positive and return as soon as possible.

Gomez added: “Obviously being out for longer than we’d first hoped for is hard to swallow but it’s part and parcel of the industry.

“It was an injury caused by an impact, like nearly all the injuries I’ve had in my career, so I know it’s just a case of when it’s fully healed I’m good to go again.

“The hardest part is not being able to help the team and contribute on the pitch at the moment, so it’s important I come back ready to go and this procedure will help with that.

“My only focus is getting back for Liverpool as soon as possible and I can promise the supporters I’ll be working hard every day to do that.”

Gomez had formed an impressive partnership with Virgil van Dijk in central defence before the injury.

Klopp will now need to rely on Dejan Lovren and Joel Matip to play alongside Van Dijk for the foreseeable future.

Liverpool visit West Ham this evening at the London Stadium, looking to extend their lead over Manchester City to five points.