Liverpool's Jurgen Klopp says it is unlikely Virgil Van Dijk will play again this season ahead of the Merseyside club's clash with Brighton on Wednesday.
The Dutch defender ruptured knee ligaments in the Merseyside derby in October following a challenge from Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, and underwent surgery that the club said was successful.
Klopp admitted afterwards that Van Dijk's knee did not look good.
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Liverpool have been short in central defence due to Van Dijk and Joe Gomez's long-term injuries. The club signed central defenders Ben Davies and Ozan Kabak on deadline day to help fill the void.
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Klopp admits he does not expect to see Van Dijk back in competitive action this campaign.
He said: “In the moment, I don’t know where these things are coming from – nobody really, no doctor, nobody really told me there’s a chance for Virgil to play in this season again.
I don’t want to say that’s absolutely impossible but it’s not likely. It’s not likely. We don’t have to discuss these things really.
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"If we have space we would put them all on, even when all the medical people tell us there’s no chance. We put them on because we believe in miracles from time to time.
"But if there’s no place then we have to consider these kind of things and say, ‘The chance is not too big so we have to make the decision.’
"But if they are on the list then it’s only because we hope for nearly a miracle. That’s it.”
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