Painful stomach injury leaves Lovren unable to train

Dejan Lovren has been struggling getting in and out of his car, with the Liverpool defender revealing a stomach muscle injury.

Dejan Lovren played in two huge tournament finals last season, one with Liverpool and the other with Croatia.   -  Getty Images

Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren has been unable to train due to a painful stomach muscle injury that was exacerbated during Croatia's run to the World Cup final.

The centre-back was a key component of a Croatia side that were beaten 4-2 by France in the showpiece match at Russia 2018 last month.

Liverpool begin their bid for Premier League glory against West Ham on Sunday, but Lovren – who will see a specialist over the issue – appears a doubt and admits the Reds are not particularly happy about his injury.

Speaking to Sportske Novosti, he said: "I do not train at all because of stomach muscle issues. I am suffering big pain and will see a specialist doctor in Netherlands.

"I felt it during the World Cup, I played with pain, those three extra-times 'killed' me. But who wouldn't play for Croatia at such big tournament? After the World Cup finished, the pain increased.

"I can't even sit in my car without feeling it and to get out of the car it pains like hell.

"I'd always bite my teeth and play for Croatia, now I am paying the price, but no price is too high for what we've achieved in Russia.

"Of course they [Liverpool] are not happy, I hadn't trained since I returned from holiday, I can't. I'll see after the doctor in Netherlands will check me, I have to deal with that now and I believe it will be okay. 

"I hoped it would pass during holiday but it didn't. As I went for a swim, it hurt. I couldn't even rest normally."

Lovren's impressive World Cup followed a season in which Liverpool fell at the last hurdle against Real Madrid in the Champions League.

The former Southampton defender sees his long-term future at Anfield and believes the club are on the cusp of winning major honours.

"Where would I go from Liverpool? It is one of biggest clubs in the world, I am too happy here," he added. 

"We have the team to attack the title, we have experience from last season, no key player left and we can be better than last season. 

"In the Champions League final we lacked experience and it was the only reason Real won. 

"Plus of course the luck they had, which is part of football. First with [Mohamed] Salah's injury. 

"In the Premier League, last season Man City made the difference at the start of the campaign, we must avoid losing points at an early stage this time."

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