Liverpool defender vows to return “better, fitter and stronger” after ACL injury confirmed

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Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk has vowed to return stronger than ever from the ACL injury he suffered after Jordan Pickford’s horror tackle on Saturday.

Pickford should have been sent off in the sixth minute of the 2-2 draw at Goodison Park for the challenge which left Van Dijk with anterior cruciate ligament damage.

The club confirmed that the injury inflicted on Van Dijk in the Merseyside derby will lead to the Dutch international undergoing surgery, followed by a lengthy rehabilitation period.

The official statement from the club said:

The centre-back damaged knee ligaments following an incident involving Blues goalkeeper Jordan Pickford after six minutes at Goodison Park.

Van Dijk was required to be substituted and further assessment on the injury has revealed an operation will be needed.

No specific timescale is being placed upon his return to action at this stage.

Following surgery, Van Dijk will begin a rehabilitation programme with the club’s medical team to enable him to reach full fitness as soon as possible.

Despite the club opting to not mention a timeline for Van Dijk’s return, it is widely agreed that Liverpool’s number 4’s season could be over.

On Sunday, Van Dijk himself released a statement informing fans that he had already met with a consultant and started planning his recovery process.

I’m now fully focused on my recovery and will do everything I can to be back as quickly as possible.

Despite the obvious disappointment, I’m a firm believer that within difficulty lies opportunity and with God’s help, I’m going to make sure I return better, fitter and stronger than ever before.

In football, as in life, I believe everything happens for a reason and it’s important to try and keep level-headed whether going through the highs or the lows. With the support of my wife, kids, family and everyone at Liverpool, I’m ready for the challenge ahead.

Liverpool travel to Van Dijk’s home country this week to begin their Champions League campaign at Ajax. Next weekend, The Reds welcome Sheffield United to Anfield for the late game on Saturday.

The action comes thick-and-fast over the next three weeks before another international break kicks in. In Van Dijk’s absence, we must hope that Joe Gomez, Joël Matip and Fabinho can stay fit for the rest of the season if at all possible.

Get well soon, Virgil.

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