Liverpool centre-back Virgil van Dijk is slowly but surely making progress in his bid to recover from a long-term knee injury.
The Dutchman is expected to miss the remainder of the campaign after rupturing his ACL in October's 2-2 draw with Everton - an injury which forced him to undergo surgery soon after.
Recovery from ACL surgery is known to be a gruelling process, but Van Dijk took to Twitter to reveal that he is already back in the gym and working with the ball at his feet as he looks to strengthen his knee once again.
Van Dijk is obviously keen to get back and help Liverpool defend their Premier League title, but a large part of his inspiration will also be earning a spot in the Netherlands' side for next summer's European Championships.
The 29-year-old has never represented his country at a major competition, with 2019's Nations League finals the closest he has come, and Dutch boss Frank de Boer warned Van Dijk that he will not end his drought unless he returns to club action before the end of the season.
“It will be a race against time," De Boer told Voetbal International. “I hope so, but it must be responsible. He will have to play before then, otherwise I can’t imagine Liverpool giving him up.“
It's not hard to understand why De Boer is keen for Van Dijk to get back to his best. Van Dijk is seen by many as the best centre-back around right now, and German legend Franz Beckenbauer recently revealed his admiration for the Dutchman.
“The role of libero as I held it no longer exists nowadays,” he told France Football. “But with his way and style of playing football, Virgil van Dijk really impresses me.
“I started to notice him at Liverpool and in the Dutch national team. He has this power and ability in him that are quite impressive. He shows it on all levels. I don’t see any weaknesses in him.
“At first glance, because of his stature, you might think he lacks speed and agility, but that’s not the case at all. He is very manoeuvrable and can anticipate situations very well. I love this player.”