Virgil van Dijk is reportedly taking part in light training sessions again at Liverpool, boosting his chances of returning before the end of the season.
The Dutch defender damaged his ACL in last month’s 2-2 draw away at Everton, with a heavy challenge from Jordan Pickford potentially putting him out for the rest of the campaign.
He underwent surgery on the problem shortly after sustaining it, but the Reds’ medical team expect him to miss the majority of their Premier League title defence.
And to add to Jurgen Klopp’s woes, Van Dijk’s main centre-back partner Joe Gomez has also suffered his own knee injury that is likely to keep him out for a “significant part” of the season.
Gomez suffered his own setback while on international duty with England last week, leaving Klopp with a defensive crisis on his hands at Anfield.
Yet according to the Daily Mail, the Liverpool boss has been given a huge boost by Van Dijk returning to low impact training sessions following his recent surgery.
The former Celtic and Southampton ace is in the first phase of his recovery, although it is not yet known if he is currently working ahead of schedule.
Nevertheless, his return to light training is certainly good news for Klopp as he prepares for a second, more intensive period of rehabilitation.
Injuries to Van Dijk and Gomez have left Joel Matip as Liverpool’s only available senior centre-half, with academy graduates Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams the only other natural options at Klopp’s disposal.
Fabinho, who is capable of operating as a makeshift central defender, is currently stepping up his recovery from a hamstring injury.
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Klopp is not only suffering at centre-back, however, with another six players set to miss Sunday’s crunch clash with table-toppers Leicester.
Mohamed Salah tested positive for Covid-19 for a second time this week and will therefore not be involved, while Andy Robertson, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Jordan Henderson, Thiago Alcantara and long-term absentee Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are all out injured.
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