Liverpool will be without the services of centre-back Joe Gomez until the early part of 2019, as the England international is expected to miss six weeks with a fracture of the lower leg.
Gomez left the pitch on a stretcher during the 3-1 win over Burnley on Wednesday. As reported by James Carroll of the Reds' official website, the timeframe of his return is dependent on his treatment and recovery.
The 21-year-old has been a regular starter for Liverpool this season, with 13 appearances in the Premier League and five in the UEFA Champions League. He has formed an excellent partnership with Virgil van Dijk, and after 15 matches, the Reds have the best defensive record in the English top division.
His impact on the team is significant:
Dejan Lovren is expected to be the youngster's replacement in the starting XI, and James Pearce of the Liverpool Echo confirmed the Croat is available:
Lovren has four Premier League starts under his belt and started the Champions League loss against Paris Saint-Germain. He was a regular member of the squad in the last two seasons before Gomez passed him in the pecking order.
Joel Matip could also see more playing time, and manager Jurgen Klopp has the option of moving Fabinho into a centre-back role. The Brazilian is finally starting to find his feet after a difficult start to his career at Anfield.
With the busy festive period around the corner, Gomez's injury arguably couldn't have come at a worse time, but the Reds have enough depth to survive the coming weeks.