Liverpool's head of medical services Andy Massey has told of the injury problems Jurgen Klopp's methods caused during the embryonic stages of his reign at Anfield but believes the first-team squad is now equipped meet the physical demands placed on them by the German.
Klopp's gegenpressing style of football has earned him many trophies and admirers throughout his managerial career, but the intense nature of the approach puts an awful lot of strain on the body and inevitably leads to soft tissue injuries.
Massey, who along with his role as chief of Liverpool's medical team works as a first-team doctor, has been tasked with ensuring first-team squad members are able to cope with the rigours of Klopp's footballing philosophy. There was a time when the Reds really struggled with the workload, but Massey thinks Klopp's men are now able meet the physical requirements needed to implement his preferred style of play, with two rigorous pre-season schedules behind them.
"I always say that the manager is the most important person at the club and everyone else has to fit around his philosophy," Massey told Liverpool's official website. "Jurgen's philosophy is very much that we've got to run further, run faster, run quicker than every other team because if we can do that then the skill will take over.
"So we've got to put the players in a position where they can do that. When Jurgen first came into the club, we tried to put that in there but the boys weren't up to that physical level yet to meet the demands.
"At one stage, we had 13 hamstring injuries but now, with the benefit of two pre-seasons, we're seeing the boys work so much harder and they look like they're more protected."
Liverpool have already suffered injuries to a number of key players already this season and had to battled through an injury crisis during the midway point of the previous campaign. The added strain of Champions League football could wreak similar havoc, but Massey is pleased with the current condition of the squad as the dreaded Christmas period draws near.
"There's a UEFA group that looks at injuries with data from the last 15 years and injuries remain constant," Massey said.
"Arsene Wenger was saying this recently, but people take it the wrong way. You're still going to get the same number of injuries, but what we try to do is get them back quicker now, which we are making a bit of headway in to.
"So far this year, touch wood, we've had very few soft-tissue injuries and that's coming from the fact the players are more accustomed to doing the massive workloads because they've had two full pre-seasons under their belts."
Liverpool may be encouraged by Massey's insight into their current state of fitness, but they will no doubt be concerned by the news regarding Sadio Mane, who aggravated an old hamstring problem while on international duty.
The Senegalese international had only just returned to fitness after suffering a hamstring problem in training two months ago and has now arrived back at Melwood for treatment. It is not known whether he will miss his side's clash against Southampton on Saturday (18 November).