Van Dijk Remains Focused as Long Road to Full Fitness Continues

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Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk says he is “doing very well” as injury rehabilitation continues for the centre-back.

The Reds’ talismanic defender returned for 20 minutes of action, along with Joe Gomez, against Hertha BSC last week. Both players will be hoping for some more minutes when Liverpool play Italian side, Bologna, in two separate friendlies in France this afternoon.

Van Dijk gave an in-depth interview from their training camp in Évian this week.

When asked how he has been feeling during pre-season training, Van Dijk commented:

“I’m doing well, I’m doing well. It’s obviously been a tough pre-season, coming back from such a long time to be playing and training with the boys again is a big thing. It’s been tough at times, but we try to manage everything with Andreas Schlumberger, who is in close contact with me and Joe [Gomez]. We’re still getting managed, but we’re doing very well.”

About what it meant to make a return to the first team against Hertha BSC, he said:

“A lot. It’s something I’ve worked for [for] so long. It might be a small thing, but the start of team training was such a big day for me; normally I don’t really get nervous but those kind of small things make me, not nervous, but a bit excited and stuff. The same goes for the game – you’ve been visualising so many times yourself playing a game again and just to be out there again. There are obviously plenty of things to improve still and to get back to full fitness, but to get out there again gave me so much confidence. I am just ready to crack on, to push on again. That’s what I want to do, so I just keep going and the next one is on Thursday.”

Van Dijk and Gomez should feature again in one of the two games Liverpool will play against Bologna later today.

While it’s still likely that Ibrahima Konaté and Joël Matip will be at the heart of The Reds’ defence against Norwich on the opening day of the season, Van Dijk and Gomez are certainly going to be back in contention for a starting place in the coming weeks.

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