Liverpool winger 16-month injury nightmare nears end as attacking options set to improve

Liverpool youngster Kaide Gordon could soon make a return to full training after more than a year on the sidelines

Liverpool are hopeful Kaide Gordon’s injury nightmare is reaching an end as the teenager prepares to ramp up his return to full fitness in pre-season.

Gordon, who made his first-team breakthrough for the Reds in impressive fashion last season, hasn’t featured at any level since the 3-0 Premier League 2 defeat at Leeds United 16 months ago.

The 18-year-old winger has been troubled by a pelvic problem linked to his physical growth and has for some time been following a specialised training programme.

Gordon was running on the pitch at the AXA Training Centre last month and has also started tentative ball work. And while no timescale has been set for his return, the Reds believe the player is much closer to resuming team training.

“What is difficult with certain kind of injuries, especially with younger boys who are growing, they are complicated,” says U21 boss Barry Lewtas. “It’s not like when you break a bone, then the bone heals and you crack on.

“Some of these injuries are more complex, and unfortunately for Kaide it has been that. It has been linked to his growth, and Kaide is taller and bigger now than when he last played.

“We always knew never to put a timeframe on it as we knew it could be a long one and we didn’t want to set his hopes too high, and wanted to keep him in the right frame of mind as well. It’s without raising expectations of anybody else as well, as he’s a player who has already made an impact in the first team.

“He’s been running around the pitch a little bit more, and we’ll see how he goes.”

Liverpool have been keen to make sure Gordon remains involved with the senior squad, with the teenager travelling to Austria for the pre-season training camp last summer and later to Dubai for the mid-season warm-weather camp during the World Cup break.

Gordon, signed from Derby County in February 2021 in a deal that could be worth £3million, made his senior Liverpool debut aged just 16 in the League Cup win at Norwich City in September 2021.

He went on to become the second-youngest scorer in the club’s history when netting on his FA Cup bow against Shrewsbury Town in January 2022 and then made his Premier League debut from the bench against Brentford the following week, before becoming the youngest Liverpool player to start a major semi-final when featuring in the League Cup second leg win at Arsenal.