Virgil van Dijk is facing “more than a month” on the sidelines, according to Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp after picking up a hamstring injury in Monday’s 3-1Premier League defeat to Brentford.
Klopp substituted Van Dijk at half-time to not “take any risk”, explaining the centre-back’s issue was “not an injury, he just felt the intensity”. The Liverpool boss added Van Dijk said “he’s fine and he’s a very good judge of these things”.
However, the injury appears to be worse than first feared with Liverpool set to be without the 31-year-old for their upcoming FA Cup third-round clash with Wolves on Saturday ahead of Premier League fixtures against Brighton, Chelsea and Wolves.
The Liverpool manager said: “Virgil was a surprise to us. It was a big blow. He didn’t feel a lot. I took him off, it was not clear that maybe he would have tried [to play on]. The diagnosis was pretty harsh. We talk about weeks, more than a month but I hope it goes quick. I hope it goes quick, we’ll have to see. For now he’s not available, that’s how it is and we have other centre-halves.
“Everything is okay for the team but for Virgil it’s hard for him. He’s played an incredible amount of games over the years. We cannot use him on the pitch but off the pitch we will do that.”
Liverpool’s injury list:
- Luis Diaz – knee
- Arthur Melo – thigh
- Diogo Jota – calf
- Roberto Firmino – calf
- James Milner – thigh
- Jordan Henderson – concussion
- Virgil van Dijk – hamstring
Klopp, though, did provide a positive update on the fitness of new signing Cody Gakpo, who is in line to make his Liverpool debut this weekend. He said: “He is in contention. He will be involved in the squad, of course. How exactly we will have to decide in the next few hours, but that’s fine.
“Cody has been in two full training days now and is a joy to watch, to be honest. In our situation with injuries to the strikers, it’s really nice to have a guy on the pitch who is pretty natural in a lot of things and knows where the goal is. He is obviously full of joy, enjoying each second at the moment.
“He looks really promising and fit. The sessions are intense for him because they’re different. I’m very positive about him. Coming from a new league is always difficult, but we expect a positive impact.”
Jordan Henderson is expected to be available for selection again after sitting out the last match with a concussion.
Klopp added: “He did exactly what he was allowed to do yesterday, big parts of team training without heading.
“And from today on, I think he’s completely allowed to do everything.”
Wolves (H) – FA Cup, Saturday January 7, 8pm KO
Brighton (A) – Premier League, Saturday January 14, 3pm KO
Chelsea (H) – Premier, Saturday January 21, 12.30pm KO
Wolves (A) – Premier League, Saturday February 4, 3pm KO
Everton (H) – Premier League, Monday February 13, 8pm KO – Live on Sky Sports
Newcastle (A) – Premier League, Saturday February 18, 5.30pm KO – Live on Sky Sports