Virgil van Dijk has ruled out a return from injury ahead of this summer’s European Championship, while Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson will miss the club’s final four games of the Premier League season.
Van Dijk, who is still rehabbing his right knee after undergoing ACL reconstruction surgery in October, gave his first interview on Wednesday and confirmed that he will not be part of Frank de Boer’s squad this summer. He will instead remain at Liverpool to finish out his recovery ahead of the 2021-22 Premier League season in September.
Van Dijk’s knee recovery on time; Euros come too soon
The 29-year-old Dutch defender was previously rumored to eyeing a surprise return this summer, but he moved to quickly put that speculation to bed — quotes from Liverpool’s club website:
“It’s been a very, very long road. I had to take it step by step. Things have been going well, I’ve not had a real setback or anything — I’ve just progressed nicely.
“In this latest stage for myself, I have come to a decision that I had to make: would I be involved in the Euros, yes or no? With everything that is going on, I feel physically it is the right decision that I’ve decided not to go to the Euros and to go into my last phase of rehab during the offseason. The full focus will be on preseason with the club and that’s a realistic goal.
“I am gutted to miss the Euros and leading out my own country there, but things have been like they have and I have to accept it. It’s tough, but I’m at peace with it.”
Henderson still chasing return for Euros
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp confirmed that Henderson has been ruled out for the end of the season after undergoing groin surgery in February. He faces his own race for fitness ahead of what could be the final major tournament of his international career.
“Hendo is not out (of the Euros) yet. Hendo doesn’t train normal in this moment. It’s a decision for Gareth [Southgate] and Hendo. There’s a chance for England for sure, not for us unfortunately.
“Look, he hasn’t trained with the team, but around the last week (of the season) he will have a chance to train with us and he will be properly rested.”