Liverpool star facing fitness battle ahead of Norwich City's trip to Anfield

PUBLISHED: 09:22 10 July 2019 | UPDATED: 09:34 10 July 2019

Liverpool's Xherdan Shaqiri is a doubt for the Premier League opener against Norwich Picture: PA

Liverpool's Xherdan Shaqiri is a doubt for the Premier League opener against Norwich Picture: PA

PA Wire/PA Images

Norwich City could face a Liverpool side without Xherdan Shaqiri in the opening game of the new Premier League season.

The Swiss striker is facing a battle to be ready after manager Jurgen Klopp revealed he would be sidelined for "a while".

Shaqiri is still carrying a calf injury sustained on international duty with Switzerland in their Nations League defeat to England on June 9.

The former Stoke player returned to the club's Melwood training ground this week and assessment by medical staff has given Klopp a headache as he steps up his pre-season preparations.

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"Shaq is still injured from the national team and it will take a while until he is in again," Klopp told liverpoolfc.com.

"He has a tear in his calf, so he will not be involved for a while."

His current absence leaves Klopp short in attacking options with the returns of Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah (Africa Cup of Nations) and Roberto Firmino (Copa America) all delayed due to their involvement in international tournaments this summer.

Champions League hero Divock Origi - now in the final year of his contract with a new deal offered but not yet signed - is the manager's only senior forward after the departure of Daniel Sturridge.

Youngster Rhian Brewster will be part of the first-team squad full-time this season after recovering from serious ankle and knee injuries while Harry Wilson, who impressed on loan at Derby, will get a chance in pre-season.

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