Virgil van Dijk took to social media to make a heartfelt statement about his tough injury layoff which lasted almost a year. The Dutchman made his Liverpool comeback in a dramatic pre-season loss to Hertha Berlin on Thursday evening.
Van Dijk came on for the last 20 minutes of the Reds’ pre-season thriller against Hertha Berlin, which the German side surprisingly won 4-3.
On Twitter, the 30-year-old said: “285 days ago, I started on a journey back towards playing.
“It’s hard to express how I am feeling, but it’s important to me that I say I feel blessed to have had the support of so many incredible people.
“The surgeon, my physios, coaches and staff who have been with me in my corner since day one. My teammates for giving me energy and keeping my head up.
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“The fans for their love, support and encouragement. And most of all, my family because without them, I’d be nothing.
“Thank you. The work doesn’t stop now. It’s only just starting. We keep going!”
Liverpool struggled for long portions of last season without Van Dijk’s steadying presence at the back.
Joe Gomez also missed the majority of the season through a lengthy injury layoff, although Reds fans will be delighted to see him make his comeback alongside van Dijk against Hertha.
Boss Jurgen Klopp put both men back into action sooner than expected, in light of his comments earlier in the week.
The German previously said: “Yeah, it would be a surprise, unfortunately [to see them against Hertha].
“But they look really good. They do everything, they play football, we keep them in training, we just have to be patient.
“We prepare for a full season, not for a pre-season game. I will not risk it for a game here, so we have to see.”
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After a season blighted by defensive injuries last time out, Klopp will hope that a rejuvinated Liverpool squad can challenge for the Premier League title once again.
The result against Hertha will not be what they hoped for, but Van Dijk’s return is just one positive to take, and it is a significant one at that.
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