Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk could start in Saturday’s Premier League game at Newcastle United after recovering from a hamstring injury that had sidelined him for over a month, coach Juergen Klopp said.
Netherlands captain Van Dijk was taken off at halftime in the 3-1 Premier League defeat by Brentford at the start of January. He returned to Liverpool’s bench for their 2-0 win over local rivals Everton on Monday.
When asked if Van Dijk is available to start against Newcastle, Klopp told reporters, “I think so. Yesterday he looked absolutely ready, and today I think he will look the same.
Liverpool are languishing in ninth place in the standings on 32 points after a season blighted by poor form and injuries.
Their opponents Newcastle, on the other hand, are fourth and fighting for a Champions League spot after a run of 17 league games without defeat. They have lost one game this season, a 2-1 defeat by Liverpool in August.
Klopp heaped praise on counterpart Eddie Howe for the “exceptional” turnaround he has overseen at St James’ Park.
Klopp added that Thiago Alcantara and Luis Diaz are not available for the game, and that defender Calvin Ramsay is expected to miss the rest of the season after undergoing surgery on a knee injury.