Netherlands national team manager Frank de Boer has claimed that Virgil van Dijk has eight weeks left in his recovery from a long-term injury.
Van Dijk was on the end of a heavy challenge from Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford in last October’s Merseyside derby at Goodison Park.
The tackle caused damage to his anterior cruciate ligament, keeping him out of action for a minimum of six months.
The Dutchman has not made an appearance since the incident, and the Reds have suffered as a result. Their title defence has been a disaster, as they currently sit 25 points off runaway leaders Manchester City.
However, Netherlands boss Frank de Boer has not ruled out the possibility of the defender returning in time for this summer’s European Championships, claiming that he could be eight weeks away from a full recovery.
Speaking ahead of his side’s World Cup qualifiers, De Boer said (via TEAMtalk): “We know he has eight weeks left. I don’t know if that’s enough. I have spoken to him – he is back on the field.
“There can always be setbacks. A week or two of setbacks could mean he can’t play games for Liverpool [this season]. Ultimately, he must have a good feeling himself. I’m glad he’s on the right track.”
This time frame would put Van Dijk in contention for a return to action just in time for Liverpool’s final game at home to Crystal Palace, as well as the Champions League final should they get there.
However, it is unlikely that Jurgen Klopp will risk aggravating his star defender’s injury before the end of the season.
Despite his comments, De Boer has played down the chances of the centre-back featuring at the Euros in the summer.
“Anything he can contribute to Liverpool and possibly us would be a bonus – I’m not counting on him right now,” he added.
“We now let him work on his recovery calmly. It is now going well. We don’t know whether that is enough.”