Virgil van Dijk makes welcome Liverpool return
Liverpool’s Dutch defender Virgil van Dijk (L) vies with Leeds United’s Brazilian-born Spanish striker Rodrigo (R) during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Leeds United at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on September 12, 2020. (Photo by PHIL NOBLE / POOL / AFP)

Virgil van Dijk is back on Merseyside as the Liverpool defender continues his recovery from the serious knee injury he sustained in October.

The Dutchman has been working on his rehab in Dubai, training at the renowned Nad al Sheba Complex as he works on both strengthening his knee and then eventually training with a ball.

He has been based in the Middle East since December, undertaking a rigorous training session designed to get him back up to speed since sustaining his anterior cruciate knee ligament injury against Everton.

Liverpool have taken the optimistic step of including Van Dijk in both their squads for the remainder of the season in the Premier League and Champions League, although it remains to be seen whether or not he features in either competition.

The next phase of his recovery will now begin at Liverpool’s new AXA Training Centre, which Van Dijk briefly began his recovery at before heading to Dubai.

Speaking shortly before the defender was named in the Premier League and Champions League squads alongside fellow injured defender Joe Gomez, Reds boss Jurgen Klopp said the decisions would be based more on hope than expectation.

Virgil van Dijk makes welcome Liverpool return
Soccer Football – Premier League – Everton v Liverpool – Goodison Park, Liverpool, Britain – October 17, 2020 Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk collides with Everton’s Jordan Pickford [Pool via REUTERS/Peter Byrne]

“At the moment, nobody, no doctor has told me there’s a chance for Virgil to play in this season again,” he said.

“I don’t want to say it is absolutely impossible, but it is not likely. It’s not likely and we don’t have to discuss these things really.

“So like I said, if we have space we would put them all on, even when all the medical people tell us there is no chance, we put them all on because we believe in miracles from time to time.

“But if there is no place and we have to consider these things and say their chance is not too big [to be fit] so now we have to make a decision.

“If they are on the list then it is only because we hope for a miracle. That is it.”

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