Virgil van Dijk & James Milner showcase two cutting-edge new features of Kirkby

Virgil van Dijk and James Milner both continued their rehab from injury at Kirkby on Friday, with the pair showcasing two of the training ground’s new features.

The Reds made the move to their £50 million new home last month, and the first team has been getting used to their new surroundings over the past weeks.

For many, given the circumstances of the season, the start to life at Kirkby has come in the treatment room, but for those who are sidelined, it presents an opportunity to utilise Liverpool’s state-of-the-art recovery facilities.

Van Dijk provided his first update since the recovery from a serious knee injury began on Friday, with the Dutchman explaining that he is “working harder than ever.”

Along with pictures of Van Dijk working with head of fitness and conditioning Andreas Kornmayer and head of physiotherapy Lee Nobes was a glimpse of the club’s new HydroWorx pool:

Effectively an underwater treadmill, the HydroWorx pool allows injured players to work on their mobility while on-land exercise is not possible, with the technology eliminating 20 to 100 percent of a person’s body weight.

Van Dijk and the club’s medical staff can be seen using the underwater cameras to assess his biomechanical movements, with the HydroWorx pool able to speed up the healing process.

The hope will be that Van Dijk returns within a reasonable time frame, and the world-class facilities at Kirkby will certainly aid that.

Meanwhile, Milner, who is undergoing a much shorter rehab process for a hamstring injury, shared a short video from an exercise bike at the training ground:

Unlike those that line the walls of the indoor gym, however, the bike Milner was using is part of Liverpool’s new environmental chamber.

Installed by The Altitude Centre earlier this year, the chamber caters for hypoxic training, which again allows players to speed up their recovery when they are unable to take part in load-bearing exercises.

“Players will be put through their paces as part of rehab and conditioning sessions to ensure they are running at peak performance,” The Altitude Centre explained.

“The chamber itself has the capacity to reach altitudes of up to 5800m above sea level, as well as a temperature range of 10 to 40 degrees celsius and full humidity controls (20 to 95 percent rH).”

Milner revealed that he was working in 40 degree heat at 3000m above sea level, which he described as “La Paz-like conditions” – or in other words as if he was training in Bolivia.

KIRKBY, ENGLAND - Thursday, August 13, 2020: An image of the players' entrance of Liverpool FC's new traing ground in Kirkby which will be sponsored by AXA and known as the AXA Training Centre. (Pic by Liverpool FC via Propaganda)

One of the key factors behind Liverpool’s decision to move to Kirkby mid-season was the cutting-edge rehabilitation equipment available, which is seemingly paying off during a campaign that continues to test the limits of Klopp’s squad.

It is likely that Van Dijk and Milner are not the only players to be using the likes of the HydroWorx pool and the environmental chamber – absent from the club’s recent gym photos, Thiago may well be doing similar.

So while the Reds may continue to struggle due to the increased workload on the pitch this season, the switch to Kirkby could well pay off in terms of nursing players back to full fitness.