Virgil van Dijk needs knee surgery

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Netherland

Liverpool centre-back Virgil van Dijk wants to return stronger after learning he needs surgery on the knee injury he sustained in the 2-2 draw at Everton. The 29-year-old Netherlands defender was unable to continue following a rash challenge by Toffees keeper Jordan Pickford in the first half on Saturday. It is unclear how long the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury will keep him out for. ‘I’m ready for the challenge ahead,’ he said in a post on social media. The former Celtic and Southampton centre-back went for a scan before a specialist confirmed the extent of the damage. ‘I’m now fully focused on my recovery and will do everything I can to be back as soon as possible,’ said the Dutchman. ‘Despite the obvious disappointment, I’m a firm believer that within difficulty lies opportunity, and with God’s help I’m going to make sure I return better, fitter and stronger than ever before. ‘In football, as in life, I think everything happens for a reason and it’s important to try and keep level-headed whether going through the highs and lows.’ How much will Liverpool miss Van Dijk? The stats that show his value Returning to action after ACL surgery can take many months and Liverpool are refusing to specify how long the Dutchman will be out for until after his operation. Surgery will not be immediate and the operation has yet to be arranged.—Agencies

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