LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 12, 2020: Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk during the opening FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Leeds United FC at Anfield. The game was played behind closed doors due to the UK government’s social distancing laws during the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic. Liverpool won 4-3. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“Working harder than ever” – Virgil van Dijk shows he’s on road back to fitness

Virgil van Dijk has posted an update from his latest rehabilitation session, showing the defender is hard at work getting back toward full fitness.

The big Dutch defender has been out since the Merseyside derby and is expected to miss the majority, if not all, of the 2020/21 season with his knee injury.

His operation went well and he’s back in recovery work now, as he looks to strengthen his leg muscles were possible and remain in overall top shape elsewhere.

Posting to Twitter, Van Dijk showed himself working out at the Training Centre in Kirkby, with club staff in attendance as he moved through his rehab exercises.

One of the notable images shows him in one of the aquatic treadmills which has been purpose-installed at our new training base, with underwater cameras allowing both player and medics to monitor his movements without being load-bearing on the knee.

However, Van Dijk is also clearly doing some work on his leg too, with the right knee remaining bandaged but being put through its paces.

This could be partially to ensure minimal muscle wastage in the quads, but it’s likely at this point that he’s also starting to work on the knee and strengthening other muscles around it as he is walking comfortably unaided.

Meanwhile, the club also posted images of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, James Milner and Xherdan Shaqiri working in the gym as they mount their own comebacks towards fitness.

The trio are on a far shorter timescale to recovery than Van Dijk, of course, and Jurgen Klopp namechecked Oxlade-Chamberlain as being very close to available in his pre-Wolves press conference.

The hope now will be that the Reds can get through the next couple of games, Wolves and then the Champions League dead rubber against Midtjylland, without any further new injuries.

A week from now, with perhaps Ox back, Trent and Naby already involved and Alisson close too, the squad situation could look markedly improved – and Van Dijk’s long road to his own return will be a step closer to the end, too.