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Liverpool have confirmed that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is likely to the vast majority of the 2018-19 season as he continues his recovery from knee ligament damage, with manager Jurgen Klopp saying "it will be a bonus" if the 24-year-old plays at all.
Oxlade-Chamberlain injured his knee during Liverpool's Champions League semifinal with Roma in April and underwent successful surgery eight days later.
Liverpool say a timescale for Oxlade-Chamberlain's recovery was not revealed at time because the 24-year-old did not want the developments to distract his teammates from their run towards the Champions League final.
"It feels like now is an appropriate time to tell people that for Ox this coming season will be about focusing on recovery and rehab," Klopp told Liverpool's website,
"We have known this from pretty much the day after he got the injury and after the successful surgery, we were sure of it.
"I hope everyone treats this information responsibly. There has been no change, no setback -- it's exactly on the schedule we expected and planned for. The new information is that we're now giving more detail publicly.
"It is typical of Ox that he didn't want the news to overshadow the end of the season and, to be quite honest, we thought we could wait and tell people at an appropriate time.
"His surgery -- which he had on the day of our second leg in Roma -- has been completely successful and his recovery has started superbly well.
"But the truth of the matter is that we are preparing this season knowing he will not be with us on the pitch for competitive matches for the majority of it. If we do see him back this season it will be a bonus."
Liverpool, the player and Klopp all agreed on the need to be patient with his rehabilitation as they look towards the long-term future.
"It is so important -- because of how valuable and important he is to what we are looking to do here in the coming seasons -- that the focus is on doing this right and not rushed. Ox is completely on board with this approach," Klopp added. "He is such an outstandingly good person and someone who even when not playing is integral to the heartbeat of Melwood.
"I cannot wait to have him back with us for matches, but we will wait for him and we will show the patience that is required to make sure he comes back ready to continue where he left off: as one of the most outstanding performers in European football in that moment."
Oxlade-Chamberlain made 42 appearances during his first season at Liverpool following his £40 million move from Arsenal.
Glenn is ESPN FC's Liverpool correspondent. You can follow him on Twitter: @GlennPrice94.
LOS ANGELES -- Jose Mourinho has issued a challenge to Paul Pogba to recreate his World Cup form for Manchester United next season.
The midfielder was a key part of France's success in Russia and scored in the final against Croatia as Didier Deschamps' side lifted the trophy.
Mourinho confirmed the 25-year-old, who has often been criticised for his performances since arriving from Juventus in 2016, will miss the start of the season while he recovers from his exertions this summer.
But when he returns, the United manager says he wants to see Pogba use his "brilliant" tournament as a springboard for his form at Old Trafford.
"To win the World Cup can only be a positive thing," Mourinho told a news conference at UCLA on Tuesday.
"So many players didn't have the opportunity to win and help their team enough. For Paul it is the first World Cup he goes and to be world champion can only be fantastic.
"I hope he understands why he was very good. That's the point about his performance level and contribution to a winning team, is to understand why he was so good especially in the second part of the competition, where he was absolutely brilliant."
Pogba is on holiday and will not be in the United States for United's five-game summer tour. He is also set to miss the first game of the Premier League season against Leicester at Old Trafford on Aug. 10.
Mourinho confirmed that new signing Fred will link up with the squad in the U.S. next week but fellow new boy Diogo Dalot won't be available until September while he recovers from a knee injury suffered at the end of last season.
"Dalot is injured," Mourinho added. "A small injury, a small surgery. We didn't want to lose him because of that and he's recovering really well and we think he can start training back in England but not ready for start of the season."