Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk picked up an ACL injury earlier in the season during the Merseyside derby and he was expected to miss the remainder of the season.
According to the Daily Mail, the Dutch international has now begun light raining after his knee surgery last month. The report adds that Liverpool’s hopes of him returning this season have received a boost but any optimism regarding a return to action seems premature right now.
It is common for ACL patients to start walking unassisted after two to four weeks of undergoing surgery in order to increase the range of motion in a controlled way.
However, the new ligament takes several weeks to heal and it is around four to six months before an elite athlete can regain the full functionality of the knee – strength, agility and the positioning of the knee under intense pressure.
Van Dijk is in the initial stages of his rehabilitation and he is still months from returning to normal training. After that, he will need weeks to regain his match fitness. Therefore, it would be fair to assume that the defender won’t play again this season.
There is nothing to suggest that the Liverpool defender is ahead of schedule in terms of his recovery.
Meanwhile, Liverpool must look to find a way to cope with their current injury crisis. Joe Gomez, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Rhys Williams are currently sidelined as well and Jurgen Klopp will soon be forced to field his midfielders at the back.
Joel Matip is the only senior centre back available right now and the former Schalke star has had his fair share of injury problems. He has missed 50 games for Liverpool in the last three season with various injuries.
It would be a massive risk to rely on him to stay fit for the remainder of the campaign and the ideal scenario would be to invest in some quality defenders when the transfer window reopens in January.