Feb. 4 (UPI) -- Liverpool defender Joe Gomez will have surgery on a lower leg fracture he sustained in the Reds' December 5 win against Burnley.
The Premier League club announced Gomez's plans on Monday. The 21-year-old right back left the match on a stretcher in the 23rd minute following a sliding challenge from Burnley's Ben Mee. He hasn't played since that clash.
"The defender has been undergoing a rehabilitation program since suffering the initial break at Turf Moor; however, after further diagnosis, the club's medical staff believe he will benefit from a further procedure to enable a more complete recovery," Liverpool said in a news release.
Liverpool did not put a timetable on Gomez's return, but did say it is likely that he will come back this season.
"It's a blow for the boy and for us -- because prior to the injury he was in such fantastic shape," Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp told LiverpoolFC.com.
"But he is too valuable to take any risk with, both for our present and future, so we get this procedure done and he comes back when he's ready."
Gomez has appeared in 18 games this season for the Reds.
"Obviously being out for longer than we'd first hoped for is hard to swallow but it's part and parcel of the industry," Gomez said. "It was an injury caused by an impact, like nearly all the injuries I've had in my career, so I know it's just a case of when it's fully healed I'm good to go again."
Gomez joined the Reds in 2015. He has six appearances for the England national team.