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Jurgen Klopp is encouraged by videos of Virgil van Dijk training in the gym, but warned that the Liverpool center forward still has a long way to go to recover.
Dutch international Van Dijk suffered a serious knee injury during the 2-2 draw against Everton in the Merseyside derby in October, as a result of a strong challenge from Jordan Pickford.
Van Dijk is likely to miss the rest of the season, while his status for the delayed Euro 2020 remains unclear.
This week, Reds fans would have been encouraged by watching Van Dijk’s training sessions in Dubai, where Dutch great Clarence Seedorf arrived to work with the defender.
Klopp is also happy to see the progress made, but he also ushered in a cautious tone.
“Well, very well, I have no problem talking about Virgil van Dijk,” Klopp said in anticipation of Monday’s Premier League clash against Van Dijk’s former club Southampton.
“It is very good, but there is still a long way to go [the deal with] this type of injury. I’m glad when I watch these videos because it just shows that you make good progress, but it will still take a long time that’s how it is.
“I would like to say more, but these are the facts, sadly.”
Two games were suspended this week, Manchester City’s with Everton and Tottenham’s with Fulham, due to coronavirus cases at City and Fulham pitches.
On Tuesday, the Premier League announced 18 positive results for COVID-19, the highest number since regular testing began, but there are no plans yet for a so-called “circuit breaker.”
Klopp says he is confident in whatever decision is made, adding: “I’m not a specialist, everyone knows that, we all try to do our best to stay competitive.
“I think it works well, we knew before that winter would be a second wave or whatever you want to call it.
“On top of that for us in society, Christmas is challenging when it comes to self-isolation and things like that, so I’m not surprised the numbers are going up.
“That also happens in football, the numbers go up a bit, it is understandable, but we all try to do everything possible to keep the children as safe as possible.
“I think the competition can continue and I think it’s important also because people want to see it.
“I really think we can move on, but I am not a specialist and I respect all the decisions that are made in the coming weeks.”