Liverpool centre-back Joel Matip could reportedly be at risk of missing the rest of the season with the knee injury he sustained in the weekend's 4-3 win over Fulham.
The Cameroonian defender has taken advantage of Ibrahima Konate's fitness woes to once again become Virgil van Dijk's regular defensive partner in the Premier League this season, starting nine top-flight games.
Matip was given the nod when Fulham paid a visit to Anfield over the weekend, but his outing was cut short with 69 minutes on the board, and Jurgen Klopp immediately conceded that his prognosis was not promising.
The club are still awaiting the results of Matip's scans, but Klopp reaffirmed in Tuesday's press conference that the former Schalke man would not be seen on the field again anytime soon.
Now, a report from The Guardian states that Matip is expected to be sidelined for "several months" with knee ligament damage, which means that he could very well have played his final game for the Reds.
The 32-year-old is out of contract next summer, meaning that he can begin talks with foreign clubs in January, and he has not been expected to receive an extension, having previously lost his place in the Reds' XI to a fully-fit Konate.
However, Klopp is supposedly prepared to sanction a new deal for Matip, who has scored 11 goals and provided six assists in 201 games for Liverpool since being signed on a free transfer in 2016.
The ex-Cameroon international has been struck down by several injury problems since joining the club, though, missing a good chunk of the 2019-20 season with a previous knee injury and sitting out the second half of the 2020-21 campaign with an ankle problem.
Konate is expected to be drafted into the backline for Wednesday's clash with Sheffield United at Bramall Lane, although Joe Gomez and Jarell Quansah are alternative options at the back for Klopp, who is without five other players for the meeting with Chris Wilder's side.
First-choice goalkeeper Alisson Becker and Portuguese attacker Diogo Jota both sustained injuries in last month's draw with Manchester City, and Klopp has conceded that neither man will be available for a short while yet.
Alisson - whose spot will be filled by Caoimhin Kelleher again - is further along in his recovery than Jota, who was able to take part in outdoor running on Monday, and the pair are targeting returns to action in the latter stages of December.
Meanwhile, left-back Andrew Robertson continues his rehabilitation from a dislocated shoulder and subsequent operation, which will keep the full-back in the treatment room until the start of the New Year.
Thiago Alcantara (hip) and Stefan Bajcetic (calf) have been out for the long-term owing to recent complications, and while the former could also be back at some point in January, no timeframe has been placed on Bajcetic's return.
Ahead of Wednesday's trip to Sheffield United, who will play their first game back under Wilder following Paul Heckingbottom's sacking, Liverpool have fallen five points behind leaders Arsenal in the table owing to the Gunners' enthralling 4-3 win over Luton Town on Tuesday