Joe Gomez and Virgil van Dijk will soon return to full training ahead of the Reds’ first pre-season game, Liverpool Coach Jurgen Klopp said. Gomez and Van Dijk missed most of last season due to serious knee injuries. The Reds boss has also delivered positive updates on two other defenders in Trent Alexander-Arnold and Joel Matip. Follow us for more sports predictions and free betting tips.
“That’s the thing, these boys are not injured anymore, they are just not at 100 percent yet. There are usually setbacks but so far there were no setbacks with Joe and Virgil and nobody [else] – they are all fine,” Klopp told the club website. “No reaction with the knee, nothing, all fine. The world wide web had obviously too much time,” Klopp added, citing rumors about the defensive duo’s condition.
Without Van Dijk and Gomez was forced into playing the midfielders Fabinho and Jordan Henderson at centre-half while also leaning on the inexperienced duo of Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams. Liverpool was plagued by injuries of key players last season, resulting in poor performance and failure to defend the title. They finished third with 69 points, winning 21 of 38 games they played, losing 6 and drawing 11.
The 29-year-old Van Dijk has been sidelined with an anterior cruciate knee ligament injury, which required surgery, since last October. Earlier, the Liverpool defender and Netherlands captain ruled himself out of the Dutch squad for the Euro 2020 as he chose to focus on recovery from an injury. Netherlands ended up being eliminated in the last-16 of the tournament by Czech Republic.
Meanwhile, Gomez has been sidelined since undergoing surgery last November after damaging a tendon in his left knee on England duty. He was out for eight months both in Liverpool’s title defense and England’s journey to the Euros. Klopp also revealed Joel Matip and Trent Alexander-Arnold, who were also seen in training after injuries, are also expected to play in their first friendlies.
“It’s different [for each of them],” Klopp said. “I think there is absolutely no doubt Joel can play on Tuesday. Trent looks for me like [he can] but I will have to speak to the medical department and they will tell me if it is too early. I don’t think [it is], I think he could play a few minutes on Tuesday. “Then, Joe and Virgil are in a similar situation – not exactly the same, but similar.”
Matip was sidelined after February following ankle ligament damage, while Alexander-Arnold’s thigh injury in England’s warm-up game against Austria also ruled him out of England’s Euro 2020 squad. “What they did in training so far worked really well and we will see when we can involve them in completely normal training,” Klopp added.
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