Liverpool's defensive unit has been the subject of a lot of criticism in recent weeks... In fact, all of the criticisms levelled at Jurgen Klopp's team has been aimed at his defence as goals have been leaked with regularity despite the constant threat at the other end of the pitch.
That said, it hasn't helped matters that Liverpool have had to chop and change the back four on a weekly basis.
After the Virgil Van Dijk transfer fell through in the summer it was clear that numbers were going to be thin at the centre-back position, so that last thing Klopp would have wanted would have been an injury to Joel Matip or Dejan Lovren. While the German has played 90 minutes in every Premier League game thus far, Lovren has had a much more difficult time.
The Croatian international missed the loss to Man City and the draw at home to Burnley with what was reported as a back injury, but speaking to Sportske Novosti in his homeland [via Independent.co.uk], he revealed that his issues are so serious that he is in constant pain, and is taking five painkillers to get through a game.
I have problems for the last two weeks with my whole body, it hurts. I have problems with my back, and now I have hurt my Achilles’ tendon.
I play, but I'm not training at all. I can't train. The biggest problem is my back. That's why I skipped the matches against Manchester City and Burnley in the Premier League.
I have big problems with the left side of my body. I'm taking pills so I can play. I take five pills before every game.
All this time I'm playing under tablets. It's not normal to have four of five tablets before each game. I wanted to play, the coach put me in the team, but it is not good.
I'm worse and worse. For a long time, it makes no sense.
That sounds concerning.
It can't be doing the problem, whatever it is, any good to be playing through it, but an extended break from first-team action would leave Liverpool very short for the coming weeks and months.
He did manage to play in Moscow mid-meek but with his country calling for the business end of the World Cup qualifiers, he's going to be facing a difficult decision.