SHORT HILLS, N.J. — Jurgen Klopp has told ESPN FC that Mohamed Salah is still “getting used to” the shoulder injury which cut short his appearance for Liverpool in the Champions League final and affected his World Cup campaign with Egypt.
Salah, who scored 44 goals for Liverpool in his first season at the club last year, is pencilled in to make his first preseason appearance in Wednesday’s International Champions Cup clash with Manchester City at MetLife Stadium.
The 26-year-old has trained fully with Klopp’s squad in the United States during the past week, but having only sustained the shoulder injury less than two months ago, the Liverpool manager admits Salah will take time to fully overcome the problem.
“[Salah] is fit, he trains completely normal and maybe he gets a few minutes tonight [against City] and we’ll see that,” Klopp said in an exclusive interview with ESPN FC. “But that’s how it is.
“From all medical departments, 100 percent sure it’s all good, but of course, if you end up with the shoulder and there you feel it a bit, you need to get used to it again.
“So that’s all, but he’s fit and all the training sessions look good. He’s now in for 5 days with us and, before that, one-week training program full training program at home, so it’s all good.”
Salah missed Egypt’s opening game of the World Cup, a 1-0 loss to Uruguay, and though he returned to score in their last two games in Group A he could not inspire his side into the knockout stage.
“The World Cup I can imagine was a challenge for him as well, not only from the sports side,” Klopp said. “But that’s another thing to talk about, not for me today, probably.”
Having ended last season as Premier League Golden Boot winner, Salah goes into the new campaign as a leading candidate to top the scoring again.
But with Klopp adding Stoke winger Xherdan Shaqiri to his attacking options this summer, alongside Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane, he insists there is no pressure or expectancy on the Egyptian to repeat last season’s goal scoring feats.
“I don’t think it’s too important to try it because it happened last year,” Klopp said. “If it happens again, it will happen.
“I really think it’s important that the club, the fans, and all the stuff, that we don’t overload expectations. We have to stay completely cool.
“If Sadio scores 40 times this year I have no problem with that, or Bobby [Firmino] or somebody else. I don’t care, of course, but in the moment all is fine and of course he is what we saw last year. He is a goal scorer and that’s what is his main target in the games.
“But there are still things to improve and work. First of all, we need to make sure that he can play his best football and then he will come in the situation to score and he’s there he’ll probably score again that’s how it is if it’s 40, 20, 30.
“It’s important how many goals we score as a team and not one player, so there are no big expectations from our side.”