Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez looked “really good” in Liverpool pre-season training as they step up their recoveries from long-term injuries, according to Jurgen Klopp.
Van Dijk was ruled out for the season last October, suffering a terrible knee injury following a high tackle from Jordan Pickford in the Merseyside derby. A few weeks later Gomez was also sidelined and he would not feature again during the campaign.
The loss of their two starting centre-backs was a dire blow to Liverpool’s chances of retaining the Premier League title, with inexperienced pair Rhys Williams and Nat Phillips thrusted into the first team and the likes of Jordan Henderson and Fabinho forced to play out of position.
Speaking to the club’s website from the Reds’ pre-season training camp in Austria, Klopp gave a positive update on the pair’s recovery.
"Virg and Joe will not have double sessions now for the first few days with the team; they have a second session of the day but it’s with Andreas Schlumberger, with the rehab department, physiotherapy, these kinds of things," he said.
"That’s for these two. [They] look really good. I don’t know exactly when we can make the next steps but it will happen in the next four weeks, for sure – we will get a big step forward.''
Fellow defender Trent Alexander-Arnold and Joel Matip are also recovering from injuries. Klopp said the duo were both close to returning to full training.
"Joel looks good, absolutely, he is the closest probably to normal training and then we will see when we get him started for playing," he said.
"Trent was a serious enough injury but now not a major one, I would say. He is close but in the moment, probably the next five or six days he has a special programme: from time to time with the team, probably from time to time by himself. But then in five or six or seven days he should be in normal team training."