Liverpool head coach Jurgen Klopp has revealed Virgil van Dijk is ‘doing really well’ despite his knee looking worse for wear after surgery – and says Trent Alexander-Arnold is making good progress with his calf injury.
Van Dijk suffered damage to his anterior cruciate ligament following Jordan Pickford’s horror challenge in last month’s Merseyside derby and the Netherlands centre-back is expected to be sidelined for the best part of Liverpool’s season.
Injuries have been stacking up for the Premier League champions, particularly in defence, where Klopp has also been without Alexander-Arnold, Joe Gomez and Fabinho in recent weeks.
A furious Klopp rowed with BT Sport‘s Des Kelly following his Liverpool’s draw at Brighton and made it abundantly clear that he blamed his side’s congested fixture list for his players dropping like flies at the start of this campaign.
But the German appeared in a better mood at his press conference on Monday and provided some positive news on the fitness of Van Dijk and Alexander-Arnold.
Asked whether he had spoken to Van Dijk, Klopp replied: ‘Yes, of course we are in contact. Considering the circumstances, he’s doing really well.
‘His knee doesn’t look good, to be honest. It doesn’t look how a knee should look but it looks good for a knee with that surgery and the time he had since the surgery.
‘So, yeah, of course we are in contact and he is doing well. That’s true.’
Klopp confirmed both Alexander-Arnold and Xherdan Shaqiri would miss Liverpool’s Champions League clash with Ajax on Tuesday night but said the England right-back had made significant strides with his rehabilitation.
Pressed on the fitness of Alexander-Arnold, Naby Keita and Shaqiri, Klopp responded: ‘They are all getting closer to be back. Not close enough for tomorrow, I think.
‘With Naby we have to check but the other two will not be ready.
‘Trent looks quite good but nobody gave me the green light for tonight so he will not be there and he did not train with the team.
‘I saw him today on the pitch doing his rehab stuff outside so that looks good but I cannot decide when this rehab stuff will be finished, I take the players when I get the green light.
James Milner was also ruled out of Tuesday’s match and Klopp revealed Thiago Alcantara was still several weeks from a possible return after the knee injury he suffered at Everton.