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'I take five pills before every game': Lovren relying on painkillers to play

The Liverpool defender insists he wants to play for Croatia in their World Cup qualifiers against Ukraine and Finland, yet adds ‘it makes no sense’.

Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren (L) competes with Leicester's Harry Maguire (R)
Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren (L) competes with Leicester's Harry Maguire (R)

LIVERPOOL DEFENDER DEJAN Lovren says he is in so much pain with injuries he takes five pills before playing each match.

The Croatia international has played eight games this season despite being hampered by a back injury, but his fitness problems have worsened

Lovren revealed he now has an Achilles issue that could keep him out of his country’s decisive World Cup qualifiers with Finland and Ukraine.

“I have problems for the last two weeks with my whole body, it hurts,” the 28-year-old told Sportske novosti.

“I have problems with my back…and now I have hurt my Achilles tendon. I play, but I’m not training at all. I can’t train. The biggest problem is my back. That’s why I skipped the matches against Manchester City and Burnley in the Premier League.

I have big problems with the left side of my body. I’m taking pills so I can play. I take five pills before every game.”

Croatia lead their qualifying group for next year’s World Cup on goal difference ahead of Iceland, with Turkey and Ukraine two points behind.

Despite his problems, Lovren has been picked for their final pair of qualifiers.

“I told him [Croatia coach Ante Cacic] my state,” added Lovren, “all this time I’m playing under tablets. It’s not normal to have four of five tablets before each game. I wanted to play, the coach put me in the team, but it is not good. I’m worse and worse. For a long time, it makes no sense.”

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