Liverpool player set to miss the rest of the season as Klopp reveals latest injury setback
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Liverpool defender Calvin Ramsay is expected to miss the rest of the season after undergoing back surgery.
But his move to Anfield hasn't gone as planned, with the young defender managing only two first-team appearances.
After being diagnosed with a back injury in his pre-season fitness checks, the full-back had to wait four-and-a-half months for his first Liverpool appearance - with his senior debut coming in the 2-0 win over Napoli in the Champions League group stage on November 1.
Eight days later, Ramsay started his first game for the club against Derby County in the Carabao Cup third round, playing the full 90 minutes at right-back as the Reds won on penalties.
Ramsay has not made a senior appearance since then and on Thursday he took to social media to confirm that he had undergone surgery.
"Surgery went well. Time to rest, recover and come back stronger," he wrote on Instagram, alongside a picture of himself in a hospital bed.
Klopp expects Ramsay to be out for the season
"Yeah, that's what I heard," said Klopp.
"It's nothing… obviously missing the rest of the season is serious, but will Calvin it's really special. So, Calvin arrived here and had a back problem I never heard [about] before. It's just that when you are in the growing process it can happen but he played all the games and didn’t really feel anything.
"Then he came here and we make a proper check and it's like, 'OK, needs something, we need to have a closer look.'
"So, he had no real pain or whatever but was not allowed to train for a long period because otherwise you can, for a young person who is still growing, you can create real problems in the long term. So, it was no chance.
"Coming back into a new team… I asked him when we spoke – when it was clear he has now the new injury I had him in my office – and I asked, 'How often have you been your absolute best, yourself, pretty much?' and he said, 'Not often,' and I say, 'Never, not one day.'
"So, now we have to use that because we couldn't. If you want to adapt to a new thing and can’t train for four months, stuff like this, it's really tricky. He was always this step behind, now he has that injury and this season is over – even if you could come back a bit earlier, that makes no sense because now it is really to build the boy up physically and then to have a new start and we go again.
"We cannot play catch-up all the time with him because he is a great talent, a real talent, who had the most unlucky start possible.
"But in the end when he finishes his career at 36 or 37 or whatever, if he can say then, 'The most difficult year of my career was the first', or the second in his case maybe, that's absolutely OK because all the others were better and we did the right things in the first two. So, that's what we try to do now with him."
Klopp also confirmed that Luis Diaz [knee], Thiago Alcantara [hip] and Ibrahima Konate [hamstring] would miss the trip to St James' Park through injury.
"Same squad, nothing happened. Who could have come back since then? Ibou not yet, Luis not yet but that's it pretty much," added the Liverpool.
"Nothing happened on the injury side. Thiago, not available. Calvin had surgery, not available. But that's it."
But there was more positive news around defender Virgil van Dijk, who is in contention to start against Newcastle after recovering from a hamstring injury.
Asked if Van Dijk could start the match, Klopp added: "I think so.
"Yesterday he looked absolutely ready. I think today he will look the same and then we make a decision."