Van Dijk set for surgery on knee injury
Liverpool have confirmed Virgil van Dijk has damaged ligaments in his knee and is likely to miss most of the rest of the season.
The Netherlands international is set to undergo surgery on an injury sustained in the first half of the 2-2 Merseyside derby draw following a challenge by Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.
The Reds were leading 1-0 thanks to a goal from Sadio Mane after two minutes and 15 seconds at Goodison Park, the fastest scored in this fixture in the Premier League era.
Barely three minutes later, Fabinho looped the ball into the Everton penalty area towards Van Dijk and Pickford lunged into the centre-back, missing the ball.
Pickford was spared the risk of a penalty and possible card from the referee as Van Dijk was narrowly offside when Fabinho crossed.
Van Dijk was treated on the pitch but was unable to continue, walking gingerly down the touchline as Joe Gomez came on to replace him.
“Liverpool FC can confirm Virgil van Dijk will undergo surgery on the knee injury he sustained during Saturday’s 2-2 draw at Everton,” the Premier League champions said in a statement on Sunday.
“The centre-back damaged knee ligaments following an incident involving Blues goalkeeper Jordan Pickford after six minutes at Goodison Park.
“Van Dijk was required to be substituted and further assessment on the injury has revealed an operation will be needed.
“No specific timescale is being placed upon his return to action at this stage.
“Following surgery, Van Dijk will begin a rehabilitation programme with the club’s medical team to enable him to reach full fitness as soon as possible.”
Virgil van Dijk will undergo surgery on the knee injury sustained during Saturday’s 2-2 draw at @Everton.
Following surgery, Virgil will begin a rehabilitation programme to enable him to reach full fitness as soon as possible.
You’ll come back stronger, @VirgilvDijk
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) October 18, 2020
Manager Jurgen Klopp said he did not have a clear view of the incident but was critical of the general use of VAR in the 2-2 draw, with a marginal offside call having denied Jordan Henderson a late winner.
“I didn’t see it back, it took a while so obviously the offside was not too big and Pickford kicks him completely,” he told Sky Sports.
“Then the Henderson goal, it was the pass for Sadio, and I didn’t see offside. Maybe somebody can explain it to me. The picture I’ve seen was not offside.”
The loss of Van Dijk comes as Liverpool enter a packed run of matches until the next international break in November.
They play six times in the next three weeks, including Champions League games against Ajax, Midtjylland and Atalanta and a Premier League trip to Manchester City on November 7.