Jurgen Klopp conceded it is “not likely” that Virgil van Dijk will feature again this season, but his belief and hope in “miracles” ensures it cannot be entirely ruled out.
The Dutchman has been sidelined since mid-October after suffering an ACL injury to his right knee in what was the first of three crippling injuries to the centre-back ranks.
Van Dijk’s absence had a knock-on effect throughout the squad and with Joe Gomez and Joel Matip both following suit with long-term setbacks, Liverpool were forced to dip into the January market.
Ben Davies and Ozan Kabak were added to the team on deadline day, which left many to continue to ponder the chances of the No. 4 being added back to the Premier League squad list and recovering in time to feature at the back-end of the campaign.
There was some slight confusion between Klopp and press officer Matt Mccann regarding whether Van Dijk’s name is on the topflight list for the second half of the season, as they didn’t think he was ever taken off.
But the boss was quick to say he is expected to be named despite being unlikely to play again in 2020/21, as he continues to hope for a “miracle.”
“If we have space for Virgil on the Champions League list, he will be on the list – that’s how it is,” Klopp told reporters on Tuesday.
“No doctor has told me there’s a chance for Virgil to play this season again. I don’t want to say it’s absolutely impossible, but it’s not likely.
“If we have space we would put them all on, even if all the medical people told us no chance because we believe in miracles from time to time.
“But if there’s no place then we have to consider these things that the chances are not too big so we have to make a decision, but if they are on the list then it’s only because we hope for nearly a miracle.”
The Dutchman has been in Dubai as part of his rehabilitation programme and has shared multiple updates of doing ball and endurance work, where he is now heading into his fourth month of recovery.