Liverpool hit with injury blow as striker pulls out of international duty

J├╝rgen Klopp thinking

The Belgian FA confirmed on Thursday that Divock Origi has withdrawn from the squad, with the striker thought to have suffered a thigh injury.

Before a ball has even been kicked during international week, Liverpool have already been hit with an injury blow as the Belgian FA have confirmed that Divock Origi has withdrawn from the squad to face Portugal.

It is a time of the season when Premier League managers are left crossing their fingers as a host of key players depart for a week, and Reds boss Jurgen Klopp will have been no different as a number of stars left ahead of the final nine games of the league season.

However, it appears that the former Borussia Dortmund manager's prayers have fallen on deaf ears, as the Belgian FA announced on Thursday that Origi has pulled out of the squad and been replaced with out-of-favour Everton winger Kevin Mirallas.

The Mirror claims that the striker is believed to have suffered a thigh injury and will return to the club's Melwood training centre so that the problem can be properly assessed.

Although Origi has generally found himself behind Daniel Sturridge and Roberto Firmino in the pecking order of Anfield strikers this season, any period on the sidelines will undoubtedly come as a blow for Liverpool.

With the Reds still competing both for a European spot in the Premier League table and in the Europa League, Klopp will want to be able to call upon as many members of his squad as possible over the final weeks of the season.

Origi has been a useful substitute and rotation player during his first season wearing the Liverpool shirt, scoring five goals in 26 appearances in all competitions.

The problems caused by any absence of the 20-year-old could be exacerbated as the Mirror adds that there is also a question mark over Origi's compatriot Christian Benteke, who has reportedly suffered a knee problem.

Liverpool host title challengers Tottenham Hotspur on 2 April in their first match after the international break before travelling to Dortmund for the first leg of their Europa League quarter-final five days later.

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