Virgil Van Dijk will undergo surgery after it was confirmed that he has suffered a tear to his anterior cruciate ligament.
Van Dijk had to be substituted in the first half of the Merseyside derby on Saturday after being taken out by a rash challenge from Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.
The Dutch defender has been integral to Liverpool’s success in recent years, but they will now have to cope without him for at least a few months. The club have not confirmed how long he will be out for, but he could miss the rest of the season.
It comes as another blow to Liverpool, who are already without first-choice goalkeeper Alisson Becker due to an injury of his own. Alisson and Van Dijk are widely regarded as the two signings that turned Liverpool into title winners.
The Premier League champions have now suffered a huge blow to their hopes of retaining their title, with scans confirming an ACL injury to Van Dijk’s knee.
A Liverpool statement read: “Liverpool FC can confirm Virgil van Dijk will undergo surgery on the knee injury he sustained during Saturday’s 2-2 draw at Everton.
“The centre-back damaged knee ligaments following an incident involving Blues goalkeeper Jordan Pickford after six minutes at Goodison Park.
“Van Dijk was required to be substituted and further assessment on the injury has revealed an operation will be needed.
“No specific timescale is being placed upon his return to action at this stage.
“Following surgery, Van Dijk will begin a rehabilitation programme with the club’s medical team to enable him to reach full fitness as soon as possible.”
Pickford could face retrospective action
Meanwhile, the culprit behind Van Dijk’s injury, Pickford, could face a retrospective ban for his actions.
Pickford was not shown a card of either colour for the challenge, despite a VAR check.
According to the Daily Mirror, though, the England goalkeeper could still face a ban, depending on the contents of referee Michael Oliver’s report.
If Oliver confirms he did not have a clear view of the incident, the FA can take retrospective action and give Pickford a ban.