Virgil van Dijk teased Liverpool fans who hope to see the Dutchman play again this season with a video of him running in the club’s Kirkby training ground on Thursday. The video led to many fans wondering if the player could be close to a return.
However, manager Jurgen Klopp was quick to play down talks about Virgil van Dijk returning to the first team. Klopp provided an update on the player during his pre-match press conference ahead of the game against Manchester United.
“I don’t have enough English words to describe the same thing more often. Yes, he (Virgil van Dijk) is running - Hendo is running, Joe is running, Joel is running. That’s all good. Imagine if they wouldn’t be able to run at the moment, that would be bad," said Klopp.
"You go through a lot of steps until you are finally ready to join team training, especially with long-term injuries - there are a lot of steps to go and they are all quite a way from that," added Klopp.
Liverpool had hoped to end their season with key players returning. However, that now appears to be an unlikely scenario as Jurgen Klopp has ruled out Virgil van Dijk’s return to the squad.
The Reds will face Manchester United next in the Premier League in a bid to climb up to 4th place in the table. Liverpool could have done with the Netherlands defender strengthening their fragile backline.
With Nathaniel Phillips still out due to a hamstring issue, Fabinho will have to slot back into defense. This will once again leave the team's midfield vulnerable against an in-form Manchester United and Virgil Van Dijk’s absence is also sure to be felt.
Virgil van Dijk was among a host of Liverpool defenders who got injured
Liverpool have suffered a lot of bad luck when it comes to injuries since the start of the season. They lost vice-captain and star defender Virgil van Dijk to a long-term knee injury early on and their defensive players seemed to tumble one after the other.
Joe Gomez was the next player to suffer a long-term injury while on duty with the England team. Joel Matip then sustained an injury not long after and the next name on the list was captain Jordan Henderson. Nathaniel Phillips's recently being ruled out has not made the situation any better.
The game against has come at the wrong time for the Reds. However, a win at Old Trafford will give the 2019/2020 Premier League champions some much-needed confidence as they look to secure Champions League football.