Gini Wijnaldum offers update on Liverpool team-mate Virgil van Dijk recovery after surgery

Liverpool midfielder Gini Wijnaldum has given an update on Virgil van Dijk’s recovery after knee surgery. Wijnaldum says his team-mate is ‘going through hell’ after suffering damaged ligaments in last month’s Premier League clash with Everton.

Liverpool colossus Van Dijk could be out for the rest of the season after having to go under the knife following the 2-2 Merseyside derby draw.

It is a huge blow for Jurgen Klopp’s side, with the Dutchman having been a huge player in Liverpool’s surge to Champions League and Premier League triumphs in the past two seasons.

And even if Van Dijk cannot return in time to help the Reds defend their domestic title, his compatriot Wijnaldum hopes the defender will be fit for next summer’s postponed Euro 2020 finals.

Holland were expected to be among the favourites to win the European Championship – but are now sweating on whether they will have the talismanic centre-half in their squad.

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“Virgil will return with God’s will,” Wijnaldum told VI.

“It is a difficult time for him; this is the worst thing you can experience as a football player. You go through hell. But I think he is very strong. We FaceTime every now and then and that is very nice.”

Wijnaldum has jetted off on international duty with Holland, with Liverpool now not in action until they host Premier League leaders Leicester City in a top-of-the-table clash at Anfield on November 21.

Leicester hit the summit following their win over Wolves on Sunday, while Klopp’s side are a point behind in third, having missed their chance to usurp the Foxes when they were held to a 1-1 draw by Manchester City.

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Liverpool lost Trent Alexander Arnold to a muscle injury at the Etihad, with the right-back reportedly set to miss the next six games.

Many national teams are playing three games over the upcoming international break – and some pundits and observers have questioned whether so many games should be going ahead, given the heavy workload on players and the increased potential for transmission of coronavirus.

Wijnaldum and his Holland team-mates, for example, face a friendly against Spain as well as UEFA Nations League games clashes with Bosnia-Herzegovina and Poland over the next eight days.

But the 29-year-old midfielder said he is just happy to have the opportunity to represent his country.

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“As a club you never have the guarantee that you will get players back completely fit,” he said.

“We play three international matches and that takes energy. But as a football player I think it is great to play many matches with the Dutch national team.

“Everyone who is now with the Oranje is happy with these international matches. At the moment I feel very good and very fit.

“But we are only at the beginning of the season. I don’t know what it will be like later. Will I get a message from Liverpool? Yes, that I have to come back fit! Nothing more.”

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