Virgil van Dijk injury has an impact on him but is already working on his recovery from a devastating knee injury, and Liverpool fans are enthusiastically anticipating his return.
Since undergoing surgery on his anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee following a challenge from Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford in the 2-2 draw at Goodison Park, the £75 million signing has been out since October.
Jurgen Klopp's side have been hit hard by the centre-absence, back's and after leading the Premier League table at Christmas, they are now fighting for a Champions League slot.
Van Dijk has been in recovery after a successful knee operation, and videos of him running again have Liverpool fans wondering when he will return.
Here's what you need to know about the powerful centre-back, including the most up-to-date information about his return.
During the Reds' 2-2 draw with Everton last October, the defender was the victim of a challenge from Everton goalkeeper Pickford.
At Goodison Park, the Liverpool defender hobbled off, with Klopp admitting after the game that the injury "did not look good."
Later scans showed that he had sustained anterior cruciate ligament damage, necessitating surgery.
After that, Van Dijk underwent surgery in London at the end of October, which the club announced was effective.
A club statement read, "Virgil van Dijk has undergone surgery on the knee ligament injury he suffered earlier this month."
"The scheduled operation of the Liverpool defender took place in London and went off without a hitch.
"With the help of the Reds' medical staff, Van Dijk will now concentrate on the beginning of his recovery."
In February, after he was videoed working on his recovery in the gym, the former Southampton defender provided a hopeful report.
Klopp had claimed that Van Dijk's comeback before the end of the season would be a "miracle," but that didn't deter him from including him in his Premier League and Champions League squads.
Van Dijk posted a video of himself lifting weights at Liverpool's Kirkby fitness facility.
In March, he returned to Twitter and posted a video of himself running, leaving Reds fans wondering if he would return before the season's end.
Virgil van Dijk boosted Liverpool fans when he shared a clip of himself running - but Jurgen Klopp has warned the defender is "quite a way" from a return.
Van Dijk has been a huge miss for Klopp's side this season, with his knee injury proving a huge factor in the Reds' title defence falling apart.
Liverpool fans have been hoping for a return of the centre-back until the end of the season, with the Reds fighting for a place in the top four heading into Sunday's Premier League match against Manchester United.
Van Dijk gave Liverpool fans hope ahead of their journey to Old Trafford by posting a video of himself running the length of the pitch at the club's training facility.
Klopp, on the other hand, downplayed the prospect of a quick return for the Dutch defender, who is still recovering from a ruptured cruciate ligament suffered in the Merseyside derby in October.
Van Dijk, as well as fellow injury victims Joe Gomez, Joel Matip, and Jordan Henderson, are all running again, but not yet ready to return to full training, according to the manager.
When Klopp was asked about Van Dijk's rehabilitation on Friday, he replied, "I don't have enough English words to describe the same thing more frequently."
"Yes, he's on the run - Hendo, Joe, and Joel are all on the go."
That's all well and fine, just imagine not being able to sprint in the heat of the moment.
“They're running, because in recovery, straight-line running is always the first step; I'm not sure if you saw Virg running a couple of curves or just straight, so there's a lot more to come.
You go through a lot of steps before you're able to enter team training, particularly if you've been injured for a long time - there are a lot of them, and they're all very far apart.
“It says no one told me, 'Fasten your seatbelt, get ready, the boys are going to team training next week.' No, nothing has ever changed, but they are on the right track.”
In a video posted to his Instagram website, Van Dijk can be seen running in a straight line, and he's also been caught on camera in recent weeks attending a number of personally customized workout sessions.
Klopp's words indicate that he is progressing past mere straight-line running, and the fact that he is "in a positive direction" is encouraging for his recovery.
However, people won't be able to get optimistic about a return to play until he joins the rest of his teammates in full training, which means Van Dijk's odds of appearing in a Liverpool shirt this season are still slim.
If his rehabilitation goes well, he will have a great chance of joining the Netherlands squad for the Euro 2020 finals this summer, which begin on June 13 against Ukraine.
Team manager Frank de Boer, on the other hand, has acknowledged that he is "not counting" on Van Dijk's availability and has stated that he would support the defender's fitness decision.
“He only has eight weeks,” De Boer said back in March. There are several different types of setbacks that can occur. If he can't play for Liverpool for a week or two due to injuries, I'm sure they'll say, "Good, you can concentrate on next season."
“However, we must wait,” says the narrator. It's been a race against the clock from the beginning. It's also how Virgil sees himself. We don't want to put Virgil under any unnecessary stress.
“Anything he might bring to Liverpool, and probably to us, is a plus. I'm not betting on that right now, so it would be awesome if that happened.
“Ultimately, he must have a positive feeling for himself,” De Boer said. He would do things on his own and have faith in his own abilities. He has the majority of the decision-making power.
“When the time comes, and we know how he's doing, and you and he agree with what he will do, I'll have to make a decision.”
“We are now allowing him to focus on his rehabilitation in a relaxed manner. It's going swimmingly right now. “We're not sure if that's sufficient.”
Liverpool supporters are looking forward to seeing Virgil van Dijk back after the huge defender posted a pre-season update on his Twitter account.
Last season, Van Dijk missed almost the whole season due to injury. In the game against Everton, he sustained a serious injury, and Liverpool suffered as a result.
However, as anticipated, the Dutchman is already on the mend. Van Dijk used his Twitter account this weekend to show himself practicing for the new campaign, after a few teases in previous months.
In the photos, Van Dijk can be seen getting heavily engaged in the ball work part of training.
That is, of course, something that Liverpool supporters will be delighted to see.
It would be an understatement to say Van Dijk was missed. Manchester City recruited Ruben Dias and went on to win the Premier League by a landslide. That should tell you all you need to know about the value of a great center defender.
Van Dijk will return, which is excellent news. There were concerns that he may not play again, or that he would be out for a long time. The huge Dutchman, on the other hand, is built of tough material and seems ready to return.
Reds supporters, however, were ecstatic with what they saw in Van Dijk's newest update, and many went to Twitter to express their desire for him to return.
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