LIVERPOOL, England -- Jurgen Klopp said Dejan Lovren is not expected to make his return from injury until after the international break.
Lovren has been sidelined for the start of the season with a pelvis injury that he aggravated during the World Cup, in which he helped Croatia reach the final.
Despite the injury, the centre-half has been called up to the Croatia squad for their upcoming fixtures with Portugal on Sept. 6 and Spain on Sept. 11.
"[Dejan] is coming closer but he's not really around team training in the moment," Klopp told a news conference on Friday ahead of Liverpool's game with Brighton & Hove Albion. "I'm not 100 percent certain what he's doing today because we are the day before the game.
"He will not be involved in that game. I'm pretty sure no chance for the Leicester [City] game and then, hopefully, after the international break, he will be ready to go. That would be nice. That was actually the target from the first day when he was in and we knew about his problems. We thought: 'Okay, if we can give him that time, then that would be cool.'"
Lovren could make his return against Tottenham Hotspur on Sept. 15 at Wembley, where he was subbed off 31 minutes into Liverpool's 4-1 defeat to Spurs in October.
In his absence, Joe Gomez has partnered Virgil van Dijk in the heart of the defence for Liverpool's wins over West Ham United and Crystal Palace, with Joel Matip only recently returning from a preseason injury.
Liverpool are yet to concede a goal this season and Klopp has stressed his side, who scored 135 goals in all competitions last term, place a great amount of emphasis on defensive situations during the build-up to matches.
"You tell me when we concede goals it is our defence and you talk a lot about the centre-halves or the goalkeeper being responsible -- defending is always a team thing," he said. "We did well not only this season, since a longer period already we defended well. It always takes longer to get better. We are an offensive-orientated team based on the best possible organisation and that means organisation is important in offensive and defensive things.
"It is something we are constantly working on. Every game we go in, it is probably 60 or 70 percent we talk about our defence and what we can do to create stability [that] you need to do a few offensive things. We improved in that step by step, but it needs to stay like this. It should get better, if it got better, that's good. This season, twice a clean sheet, but at the end of the season, if we only have two clean sheets, no one is happy about that."
As part of the resolute backline, goalkeeper Alisson is enjoying an impressive start to his Liverpool career following his £65 million switch from Roma.
"I saw situations where he was really tested. First and foremost that was good and he has settled in," Klopp said. "Good player, very good player and not only a goalkeeper but a player as well, so that's quite cool.
"He gives us a few more opportunities so that's cool as well. I like that. We have this kind of Brazilian group now, plus Spanish with Alberto [Moreno], so that helps as well, although Alisson's English is quite good. I am very happy and hopefully it stays like this."