It doesn’t look good for the Dutch defender.
Virgil van Dijk’s injury could be worse than originally feared, according to The Athletic journalist David Ornstein.
Van Dijk was forced off 11 minutes into Liverpool’s 2-2 draw with Everton on Saturday following a hefty challenge from Toffees goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.
Earlier this week, The Mirror reported that Van Dijk suffered a grade three tear of his anterior cruciate ligament, which could rule the 29-year-old out for up to 12 months.
However, Ornstein says he understands that the damage goes beyond Van Dijk’s ACL.
“It’s my understanding that the damage to Virgil van Dijk’s right knee is perhaps worse than initially feared and extends beyond the ACL,” said Ornstein.
Ornstein stressed that this was just the information he has received and is by no means official.
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Van Dijk is due to undergo surgery soon, and while Ornstein refrained from expanding too much on the information he has received, it seems increasingly unlikely that Liverpool will welcome the defender back before next season.
Van Dijk has been a hugely influential figure at Anfield since joining from Southampton in a £75m deal in January 2018, starting every league game in the 2018/19 and 2019/20 seasons.
Speaking on Tuesday, Reds boss Jurgen Klopp admitted Van Dijk’s injury was ‘difficult to accept’.
“A few days ago something that should not have happened in a football game, happened,” said Klopp ahead of Liverpool’s Champions League group stage opener against Ajax on Wednesday.
“It was not the first time and it won’t be the last, but both [Pickford on Van Dijk and Richarlison on Thiago Alcantara] challenges were difficult to accept.
“We can’t change this now. I spoke the day after and it’s hard for us as Virgil is our boy. It is difficult to take because the referee doesn’t see it.”
Reds boss Jurgen Klopp saw his defence further depleted this week after losing Joel Matip, who is unavailable for the Ajax game.
Fabinho is set to partner Joe Gomez at the back in Amsterdam.