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Virgil Van Dijk Warned ahead of planned early Liverpool return date



Virgil Van Dijk

Liverpool center-back Virgil van Dijk has been warned that he is taking a “considerable risk” if he returns for the Reds before the end of the season and plays for the Netherlands at this summer’s Euro Cup.

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Van Dijk has been out since October after he required a knee surgery following a challenge from Jordan Pickford in the Merseyside derby.

The Premier League champions have struggled in the absence of the 29-year-old and now face an uphill task of finishing in top four in the league.

The Dutch international has shown remarkable progress as he accelerates his recovery and can now train on his own with the ball outdoor.

But orthopedic surgeon, Bas Pijnenburg, has urged Van Dijk to remain cautious over his planned return date.

“A considerable risk,’ Pijnenburg told NOS when asked about the risks involved with Van Dijk playing for the Netherlands this summer.

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“It takes just as long for a top athlete to recover as it does for any other person

“What makes it dangerous is that a knee can quickly feel good for a top athlete. The muscles and coordination may already be good, but recovery is still in full swing.

“Starting too early would also send a bad signal to other people who have had this surgery.”

Virgil Van Dijk injury

Van Dijk required knee surgery following a challenge from Jordan Pickford in the Merseyside derby. ( Photo by Getty Images)

Speaking earlier this month, Klopp admitted that it is “unlikely” that Van Dijk or Joe Gomez will be available for the European Championship this summer.

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That’s not my decision,” said Klopp.

“But, to be honest, the information I have at the moment it will be unlikely.

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“So, not that I don’t let them go because I don’t want to have to do that anyway, but it’s because of the extent of the injury.

“We all hope that they will be ready to start the pre-season with us. That’s what we hope.

“And, by the way, with Joel, it’s pretty much the same, he’s just not qualified for the Euros but it’s with him the same.”