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Jurgen Klopp has offered a positive update on Virgil van Dijk, saying the Liverpool star is looking “really positive” as he recovers from his knee injury.
Liverpool chose to put no timescale on the injury, though the initial expectation had been that he was likely to miss the rest of the campaign.
The Dutchman, though, is understood to be making good progress in his recovery, and the sight of the 29-year-old juggling a football in a video shared on his social media accounts last weekend sparked excitement among Reds supporters desperate to see him back in action as soon as possible.
Klopp stopped short of suggesting we may see Van Dijk again this season, but said he had spoken to the player this weekand was enthused by what he heard.
He said: “I don’t know what is possible, and I don’t think I am the right person to judge it.
“He looks really good. I spoke to him this morning on the phone, and he is in a really good mood. It’s all very promising, but I don’t know when he will be back.
“For sure there are still a lot of stages to go and to clear. I had this injury myself, so I know. But for the time we are in, and for how long he is out now, and the rehabilitation, he looks really, really promising.”
Klopp expects to have another centre-back, Joel Matip, available for Thursday’s home game with Burnley. The Cameroon international has missed the last four games with a groin problem, but is back in full training and available for selection.
The news on Diogo Jota, though, is less positive. The Portugal international injured knee ligaments in a dead-rubber Champions League game away to Midtjylland in December and has not been seen since, with Klopp admitting on Wednesday he was still “a few weeks away” from a return.
As for Liverpool, they head into Thursday’s game without a win in four Premier League matches, and under pressure with Manchester City, Manchester United and Leicester all having overtaken them at the top of the table.
Klopp understands the questions over his team’s form, and in particular their lack of goals in recent weeks, but insists his players are ready to shake off their struggles and fire themselves back into the title race.
“We all know it is all about results but sometimes you can see little steps in the right direction or not,” he said.
“You cannot change the approach just because everybody who has no real idea about the job now expectsmassive changes, from the wake up call to the nutrition, because we don’t have the results. Sometimes we have to be really…..not stubborn, resilient maybe.
“We are on it, believe me. We take it really serious. And I can promise to everyone who is with us, we want to be as successful as possible, and that means more successful than in the last few weeks because we know we can be.