According to injury expert Ben Dinnery, Liverpool striker Darwin Nunez could be wearing protective gear to help deal with a knee problem.
The Lowdown: Nunez off to a good start
The 23-year-old made a big move to Anfield from Benfica earlier this summer, replacing outgoing Sadio Mane directly.
Nunez may not have scored in his first two pre-season appearances but he silenced doubters by netting four times in last week’s 5-0 win over RB Leipzig.
The Uruguayan wears knee protection, however, which raises fears he may be struggling with a problem ahead of the new season – the towering striker has had two knee surgeries.
The latest: an expert makes an injury claim
Talk to Football Insider, sky sports The Dinnery man explained the potential issue when reacting to an official club image showing straps around the striker’s right knee.
He has somewhat allayed fears that it could be serious, but certainly doesn’t rule out some “pain” for Nunez:
“It may just be helping to alleviate some of the load that goes through that patellar tendon. It will be high intensity, high workload. Sometimes you may have a little irritation and overload around the knee. Sometimes this strapping can help alleviate and manage that.
“It can also help the kneecap track properly and compensate for any irritation in there. It’s not massive. It’s more just to guide that kneecap.
“If there’s a slight muscle imbalance, that kneecap might not follow like it should. It’s not so much an injury, it’s more of a pain. This is used to stop that.
The verdict: slight concern
While this update may be worse, it’s slightly concerning that Nunez isn’t going 100% into the new campaign and may even be feeling the effects of Jurgen Klopp’s high-intensity style already.
For that reason, it makes sense that he would be facilitated by Klopp into competitive action, especially as he also continues to adapt to his new environment and the Liverpool system.
With Diogo Jota sidelined with a hamstring injury, it looks increasingly likely that Roberto Firmino will lead the line at Fulham, alongside Mohamed Salah and Luis Diaz, with Nunez being used as an impact substitute to start.