Liverpool without Fabinho until 2020

Fabinho will miss Liverpool's December schedule, including its Club World Cup campaign, due to ankle ligament damage sustained in the draw against Napoli.

Fabinho receives treatment during Liverpool's game with Napoli.   -  Getty Images

Liverpool will be without Fabinho until the new year due to ankle ligament damage sustained during the 1-1 Champions League draw against Napoli, the Premier League leader has confirmed.

The Brazil midfielder made way after 18 minutes of Wednesday's match at Anfield and must now sit out a potentially pivotal period of the Reds' campaign.

"Further assessment on the injury has discovered Fabinho will be out of action until the new year," a club statement read. "The Brazilian will begin a rehabilitation programme with the Reds' medical team at Melwood as he works his way back to full fitness."

Jurgen Klopp's side will battle across four fronts over the next month, defending an eight-point lead at the Premier League summit.

A share of the spoils in midweek means it heads to Salzburg on December 10 with qualification for the knockout stages of the Champions League still on the line.

A scratch squad will take on Aston Villa in the quarter-finals of the EFL Cup on December 17, a day before Liverpool begins its Club World Cup bid in Qatar.

Since joining for a reported initial fee of £39 million in May 2018, Fabinho has established himself as a crucial part of Klopp's side – an integral performer in the holding midfield role.

Indeed, he is yet to finish on the losing side in a Premier League game he has started, having come on as a second-half substitute during January's 2-1 defeat to champion Manchester City.

Liverpool hosts Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday before welcoming Everton for the first Merseyside derby of the season next Wednesday.

Leicester City, which is second in the table, entertains the Reds at the King Power Stadium on Boxing Day in what will be a first game back in England following their Club World Cup exertions.

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