Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk has been advised not to rush back ahead of schedule following a long-term knee injury, according to reports.
This comes from The ECHO. They report that Van Dijk has been encouraged by his former teammate Dejan Lovren to not accelerate his recovery just to play a part in this summer’s European Championships.
Van Dijk, 30, underwent surgery back in October after sustaining damage to his cruciate ligaments during the 2-2 with Everton over three months ago.
Having undertaking some light gym work since, there were even reports that the Dutchman could make a return before the end of the season.
Such reports came from The Sunday World. They claim that there is ‘some hope’ that Van Dijk could return ahead of schedule.
However, his former central defensive partnership Lovren thinks otherwise
Over the weekend, Van Dijk shared some footage of himself with a ball at his feet in Dubai working alongside Croatia international Lovren.
In an interview with Russian publication, Sport Express, Lovren, currently at Zenit St Petersburg, reflected on the conversation he exchanged with his former defensive counterpart.
“We talked about his recovery, about the knee,” Lovren said. “You know that Virgil has a serious injury – the cruciate ligaments are damaged.
“Moreover, when this happened, at first he did not even feel anything. He starts to walk, everything is fine, and after a few steps it gets worse and worse.
“But I hope he will be back in service soon. I advised Van Dijk not to speed up the recovery [to be fit] by Euro 2020.
“If the risk of relapse persists, it is best to wait.”
What RTK has to say
Lovren is absolutely right. Indeed, we all miss Van Dijk, but rushing him ahead of schedule would be a drastic cause of action.
Liverpool’s defence has coped well without the Holland captain in recent months, after all.
With that said, it would be best for the Reds to wait until both Van Dijk and Liverpool’s medical staff deem the time is right.
Van Dijk remains an integral part of Liverpool’s set-up and is arguably the club’s best player. This season, then, could be a write-off, but at 29, he still has a number of years at Anfield ahead of him.
The key, of course, is to avoid prolonging the setback any further. Defenders tend to hit their peak at a later period, too, so there is every possibility that Van Dijk can rediscover his form of the previous two seasons.
Also, contractual developments, as per The Guardian, in regards to Van Dijk also hint that Liverpool are prepared to invest in their club-record signing for the long-term.
So, it appears we can all rest easy, then. Although we may not see him again this season, there is every hope that Klopp will his star defender at his disposal in the years to come.