Liverpool have confirmed Vigil van Dijk will have surgery on a knee injury that will sideline him for months.
The Dutch defender spent time with a specialist on Sunday, reviewing scans and deciding on a plan of treatment, for what is understood to be a grade three tear of his anterior cruciate ligament.
That is the worst level, with the ligament torn in half, and the surgery is designed to restructure the ligament.
The average timescale of recovery from such an injury can be from six to 12 months, but Liverpool are reluctant to put a time-frame on his return.
The club’s doctors will schedule surgery next week, and only after van Dijk has that, will his specialist be able to give a serious estimate of the time the defender must be on the sidelines.
Club sources stressed it would be wrong to rule out a return to action this season for the resilient Dutchman, because any return date will be dependant on the success of his rehab.
Medics at Anfield point to the player’s exceptional attitude, and his strong fitness record and attitude, which are all significant factors in reducing lay off time.
But it is clear he will not play again until next year, and there is no suggestion from the club at this stage of real confidence he can play again this season.
This article was most recently revised and updated 2 years ago