Premier League: Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk to undergo surgery on right knee, could miss months of action

Van Dijk was the subject of a reckless lunge by Everton's Pickford in the sixth minute of the 2-2 draw at Goodison Park on Saturday.

The Associated Press October 18, 2020 23:50:55 IST
Premier League: Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk to undergo surgery on right knee, could miss months of action

File image of Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk (right) with teammate Sadio Mane. AP Photo

Liverpool: Liverpool's hopes of retaining the Premier League title took a major hit Sunday when the champions announced Virgil van Dijk requires surgery on his right knee after damaging ligaments in a challenge by Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford during the Merseyside derby.

Liverpool did not give a timescale on Van Dijk's absence, but an injury of that nature will likely keep the Netherlands international out for a long period.

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

Van Dijk was the subject of a reckless, knee-high lunge by Pickford in the sixth minute of the 2-2 draw at Goodison Park on Saturday. The center back immediately came off after lengthy treatment and hobbled gingerly around the field to the locker room. It meant English soccer’s player of the year from 2018-19 missed his first minutes of league action since September 2018.

Van Dijk has been a commanding presence at the heart of Liverpool’s back line throughout the team’s rise to the top of English and European soccer in recent years. Liverpool has conceded the fewest goals of any team in each of the last two Premier League seasons.

Without its best defender, Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp has two specialist center backs in Joel Matip — who has recently returned from injury — and Joe Gomez, who has struggled for form this season.

Fabinho, a defensive central midfielder, can also drop back to play at center half if necessary.

Liverpool also is currently hampered by the loss of its first-choice goalkeeper, Alisson Becker.

The games are coming thick and fast for the team, which starts its Champions League group-stage campaign on Wednesday with a trip to Ajax. There are group games in successive midweeks until the next international break in mid-November.

Liverpool has 10 points from a possible 15 after the opening five games of its title defense, and lies three points behind first-place Everton.

Updated Date:

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

Premier League: Jurgen Klopp left confused as VAR call denies Liverpool derby win over Everton
Sports

Premier League: Jurgen Klopp left confused as VAR call denies Liverpool derby win over Everton

After the match, Liverpool manager Klopp said: "I saw back the Henderson goal and I didn't see offside. The picture I saw is no offside, but it was offside because somebody decided it."

Premier League: Jurgen Klopp hopes Merseyside derby unites coronavirus-hit Liverpool
Sports

Premier League: Jurgen Klopp hopes Merseyside derby unites coronavirus-hit Liverpool

Liverpool has been placed under the "very high" alert level of the British government's new three-tier system to check the spread of Covid-19.

Premier League: Manchester United score late goals to beat Newcastle; Man City overcome Arsenal
Sports

Premier League: Manchester United score late goals to beat Newcastle; Man City overcome Arsenal

City returned to winning ways after an indifferent start to the season, courtesy of a first-half goal from Raheem Sterling, who condemned Arsenal to their seventh straight defeat in league matches between the two sides.