England international and Liverpool defender Joe Gomez is to have an operation on the leg fracture he sustained against Burnley in December.
The twenty-one-year-old Three-Lions centre-back was taken off after twenty-three minutes following a challenge with Clarets captain Ben Mee.
He was initially ruled out for up to six weeks and is expected to feature again this season – but Liverpool have put no timescale on his recovery.
“Obviously being out for longer than we’d first hoped for is hard to swallow,” said Gomez.
Gomez had made eighteen appearances for the Premier League leaders before suffering the injury on December 5.
“It’s a blow for the boy and for us – because prior to the injury he was in such fantastic shape,” said Reds German boss Jurgen Klopp.
With Gomez and his Croatian-born team-mate Dejan Lovren (hamstring) still out, Liverpool only have Dutch international Virgil van Dijk and Cameroonian Joel Matip as fit centre-backs.
Liverpool are two points clear at the top of the EPL table and play West Ham at London Stadium on Monday evening.