Jurgen Klopp will treat Adam Lallana with kid gloves as he nurses him back in to Liverpool first team action.
The Liverpool boss is preparing for tomorrow's clash against Southampton - after a two week international break and having a mid-week interrupted by a trip to hospital for the 50 year old German boss.
Klopp explained that he was fine and his visit to hospital was a pre-caution - but he is determined to protect Adam Lallana who has missed the first three months of the season with a muscle injury.
“He is a fantastic player but we want to have him for the season. This is the moment the player wants to be back immediately and I have to be the bad guy and say 'Not today, maybe tomorrow'”
“Obviously that's not too nice but I do it for him and for the club. We will see, it depends how the other players are. We will use him for sure but bringing him for 90 minutes is not a good idea and will not happen.
“What he is doing is so different to the other players: he is the 'jumper'. He loves to do that and of course it is very important for us and will be again and I am already looking forward to when we can use it again.
“But he is also a fantastic football player and he showed that in the first training session.
Lallana was an integral part of Liverpool's improved form last year and contributed 8 goals and 8 assists in his 35 appearances playing midfield.
The player declared himself 'ready' earlier this week - suggesting he is determined to get back out on the pitch after his lengthy lay off.
Both Phil Coutinho and Dejan Lovren are back available for selection. Coutinho hasn't played for Liverpool for almost a month - and the reds have just 2 wins in the 9 games he has played so far. The reds have won their past three fixtures without the pair in the starting eleven.
Liverpool v Southampton kicks off at Anfield at 3pm.
Jurgen Klopp Pre Match Press Conference