Jurgen Klopp Provides Update on Van Dijk, Gomez Rehabilitations

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Liverpool’s title defense season did not go well, and that was mostly due to injuries. The Reds narrowly avoided the disaster of missing out on Champions League qualification, and given how much their central defense was decimated by injury, and how badly the midfield got banged up as manager Jurgen Klopp tried to plug the defender holes with midfielders, they were fortunate to make top four.

This is why the top story of Liverpool’s preseason is the rehabilitation of centrebacks Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez. Both went down for the season, last October, with serious knee injuries.

Klopp provided an update to the media yesterday. It looks like VVD could feature against Hertha Berlin in the preseason friendly on Thursday night. Neither Van Dijk nor Gomez have featured yet in Liverpool’s preseason thus far.

“I hope, I am not sure, that there is the opportunity that Virgil could play a few minutes,” Klopp said.

“He looks really good in training and maybe we can bring [him in], but I need to have some final conversations. He looks ready and we will see.

“If you see the games now as part of their rehab training, that makes sense. Joey is very close. There is no race between the two of them; they had different injuries and stuff like this, but [he is] very close. If Virgil can play now 20 then probably Joey can in the game after. We will see.

“In training they both look really good.”

The last step of an injury rehabilitation, for any athlete in any sport, is to play a competitive game, and it looks like the German is easing Van Dijk and Gomez along slowly. It’s hard to argue against that.

“I think from time to time there are some pictures of them from training sessions and everyone can see how good it looks, but there is no rush for us,” Klopp continued.

“It is not about they now need five pre-season games to be ready for the start or whatever.

“It is a long season and we prepare them after these very, very serious injuries for the rest of their careers and not for the first game of the season. Losing a little bit of patience for them to return as a supporter or as a coach even is not bad, it just means they were pretty good and we want them to be back in the team.”

virgil van dijk

Yes, Liverpool fans are calling for the duo to be played now, right now and you can understand the supporters frustrations. But at the same time, Klopp knows what he’s doing, and there is still plenty of time until the season opener on Aug 14 against Norwich City.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank, partnered with News NowBanks, the author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America” and “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” has regularly appeared in WGNSports Illustrated and the  Chicago Tribune.

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