Jurgen Klopp has taken a fresh dig at Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford for the challenge which left Virgil van Dijk with an injury which will almost certainly rule him out for the remainder of the season.
Liverpool’s defensive linchpin underwent surgery last month after he was left with knee ligament damage following the England goalkeeper’s rush of blood during the Merseyside derby at Goodison Park.
Van Dijk, according to the Daily Mail, has begun light recovery training but the possibility of him playing any part in Liverpool’s title defence remains only a remote possibility.
The Premier League champions hopes of retaining the trophy they won so emphatically last term have been hit by a series of injuries to key defenders.
Fabinho and Trent Alexander-Arnold added to a growing list of concerns prior to the international break and Klopp’s frustration reached boiling point when Joe Gomez suffered a serious knee injury while training with England.
Klopp believes Gomez’s setback was a natural consequence of the unrelenting schedule his players have been subjected to, but admits it is hard to let go of the feeling that Van Dijk’s demise was totally avoidable.
‘My English is not good enough to describe exactly what went through my mind,’ he said when asked how he reacted to receiving the news about Gomez’s injury.
‘My head physio told me and everybody was sure it was serious immediately. No doubts. No hope it was only a little one. Injuries are part of the deal for players and managers. How they happen is something we are constantly worried about.
‘With Joey, it was absolutely because of the intensity of the season. That’s something we have to worry about. That’s not an excuse. That’s just an explanation.’