Virgil van Dijk set to make Liverpool return after nine months out with knee injury

Virgil van Dijk is set to play competitively for the first time in nine months (Photo by John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

Virgil van Dijk is set to make his long-awaited comeback in a Liverpool shirt this Thursday following nine months on the sidelines.

The Dutchman tore his Anterior Cruciate Ligament in October’s Merseyside derby against Everton and he missed the European Championships in order to focus on his rehabilitation.

The defender has sat out Liverpool’s three pre-season friendlies so far but the former Southampton ace has been participating in full contact training and feels comfortable to play against Hertha Berlin on Thursday.

While Van Dijk is unlikely to start, Jurgen Klopp has confirmed that the defender could be given some minutes.

Van Dijk has been back in full training for the last six weeks (Photo by John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

‘I hope, I am not sure, that there is the opportunity that Virgil could play a few minutes,’ said Klopp.

‘He looks really good in training and maybe we can bring [him in]. He looks ready and we will see.’

Liverpool lost defender Joe Gomez at a similar time to Van Dijk and though the pair endured similar injuries, the England ace will be given longer to recover given his history.

Gomez is therefore targeting a return against Athletic Bilbao in early August at Anfield.

‘If you see the games now as part of their rehab training, that makes sense,’ said Klopp.

‘Joey is very close. There is no race between the two of them; they had different injuries and stuff like this, but [he is] very close. If Virgil can play now 20 [minutes] then probably Joey can in the game after.’

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