Liverpool have lost key centre-back Virgil van Dijk for ‘more than a month’ as a result of the hamstring injury he suffered during the recent Premier League defeat to Brentford.
Van Dijk was forced to come off at half-time in that game after feeling discomfort. It was later reported to be worse than first thought, before Klopp shared more details about the recovery timeframe when he spoke to the media at a press conference on Friday.
“Virg was a surprise for us and a big blow,” the Liverpool boss said.
“The diagnosis was pretty harsh. It's more than a month, but I hope it goes quick. It's hard, but for him he has played an incredible amount of games in recent years.”
The expectation he will be out of action for ‘more than a month’ suggests at least five weeks on the sidelines. That means Van Dijk won’t play again in January and likely won’t return until potentially the middle of February at the earliest.
How many Liverpool games will Virgil van Dijk miss?
From now until 13 February, Liverpool are due to play five games. Should there be any further delays or other setbacks, Van Dijk might also not be back in time for another fixture on 18 February. The Reds are also due to play on 21 February and 25 February as well, potentially up to eight games.
What Liverpool games will Virgil van Dijk miss?
Van Dijk will be missing when Liverpool host Wolves in the FA Cup third round on Saturday, with Premier League fixtures against Brighton, Chelsea and Wolves (again) also almost certainly too soon. The likelihood is that the Merseyside derby against Everton on 13 February also won’t be possible.
After that, Van Dijk has a chance of returning if Klopp’s predicted recovery timeframe proves accurate. Liverpool face Newcastle on 18 February, with Real Madrid playing at Anfield in the Champions League only three days after, swiftly followed by a trip to Crystal Palace.
As things stand, Van Dijk should be back by the time Liverpool host Manchester United at Anfield in the Premier League on 4 March.
Expected to miss: Wolves (7 Jan), Brighton (14 Jan), Chelsea (21 Jan), Wolves (4 Feb), Everton (13 Feb)
Potential doubt for: Newcastle (18 Feb), Real Madrid (21 Feb), Crystal Palace (25 Feb)
Source : 90min