Liverpool fans can rest easy regarding Virgil van Dijk’s injury as Reds manager Jurgen Klopp revealed that he expects the Dutchman, who came off clutching his ribs during Saturday’s 3-0 win over Southampton, to return to action very soon.
Van Dijk became the club’s record signing when he arrived in January for a world-record fee of £75 million and has since then, transformed a porous defensive unit into a miserly one.
The 6’4 centre-back’s presence, along with the summer arrival of custodian Alisson, has shored things up at the back as Liverpool have begun the season in sensational manner, maintaining a 100 per cent record in all competitions.
“He already had a bruise in the ribs before the PSG game, which is very uncomfortable and today he got another hit there,” Klopp told his post-match press conference at Anfield.
The German’s comments suggest that van Dijk may be rested for the midweek Carabao Cup clash with Chelsea.
“It’s not cool but should not be too serious. It should be absolutely OK, hopefully. I didn’t hear anything different.”
So far, van Dijk has started all of Liverpool’s games in the 2018/19 season.
A bruised rib generally takes a week to recover from, with most players able to play through the pain even if they haven’t recovered completely.
In some extreme cases, athletes trudge on with a brace inside their jersey, but it doesn’t appear that van Dijk will require such drastic measures.
Joe Gomez replaced the Dutchman in the 55th minute and the young defender could stand in for him when the Reds take on the Blues in midweek.
After their cup clash, Liverpool take on Chelsea again in the Premier League. Their fixture at Stamford Bridge is scheduled for Saturday (2200 IST) and van Dijk should be fit by then.
Currently, the Reds hold a three point lead at the top of the table, although Chelsea can go level with them if they win their game in hand on Sunday against West Ham United.