Liverpool have confirmed that Virgil van Dijk has undergone 'successful' surgery on the knee injury inflicted in October's Merseyside derby, though the club are still reluctant to put a timeframe on the defender's return to action.
Early reports on the injury, caused by a challenge from Jordan Pickford, suggested the Dutchman's season could be over, and those fears were compounded when the Reds omitted him from their Premier League squad list until January at the earliest.
He faces an extensive period of rehabilitation if he is to play any further part in their title defence, but the early signs suggest his recovery is on track - after a club statement was released, saying:
"Virgil van Dijk has undergone surgery on the knee ligament injury he sustained earlier this month. The Liverpool defender’s planned operation took place in London and was conducted successfully. Van Dijk will now immediately focus on the beginning of his rehabilitation with the support of the Reds’ medical department.
"Van Dijk will now immediately focus on the beginning of his rehabilitation with the support of the Reds’ medical department.
"No timeframe has been placed on the Dutchman’s return to action."
Van Dijk has been an ever-present in the Liverpool defence since his record-breaking move from Southampton in 2018, and his absence has already been felt. Fabinho, who has stood-in at centre-back during the Dutchman's absence, will also miss this weekend's clash with West Ham, leaving Liverpool with just Joe Gomez and Joel Matip as established central defensive options.
Teenage centre-back Rhys Williams has made two appearances in this season's Champions League, and having played alongside Van Dijk in the EFL Cup this term, he may find himself with a more senior role to play in the weeks and months ahead.