Virgil van Dijk is well on the way to a full recovery, as Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has revealed a very positive update on the star center back.
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Van Dijk, 29, suffered knee ligament damage in October after a challenge from Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford and has been out ever since, but surgery has gone well and he’s been stepping up his recovery in recent weeks.
Despite not putting a timeframe on Van Dijk’s return, this all sounds like he will return a lot sooner than many expected.
“I don’t know what is possible and what is not possible; I don’t think I’m the right person to judge that 100 per cent,” Klopp said. “He looks really good. I spoke to him this morning, I had him on the phone – he is in a really good mood. So it’s all very promising. But I don’t know when he will be back.
“There are for sure a lot of stages still to go over or pass or whatever. That’s clear. I had this injury myself. But for the time we are in and for how long he is out now, how long the rehabilitation is going on, he looks really, really promising. But that’s all.”
Could Virgil van Dijk play again this season?
Even though they’ve missed his presence this season, Liverpool will not take any risks with Van Dijk’s long-term fitness.
With Joe Gomez going down with an ACL injury soon after Van Dijk was ruled out, Klopp has been forced to play Fabinho at center back and Jordan Henderson has been partnering him at center back recently with Joel Matip out injured too.
Shifting his two main central midfielders to being center backs has had an impact on Liverpool’s midfield, and their entire team, but they have looked solid defensively despite missing Van Dijk and Gomez. So there is no rush for Liverpool, but this will surely mean that they will not buy a new center back in January as Van Dijk will be back sooner than expected and can partner Matip, or Fabinho.
As for Van Dijk, in his mind he will be hoping he can recover in time for the final month or two of the season and play a big part in Liverpool’s potential title defense, push for the UEFA Champions League trophy and he is also set to captain the Netherlands at the European Championships this summer.