Liverpool have refused to comment on claims made by Holland manager Ronald Koeman that Virgil van Dijk’s rib injury is far more serious than the Reds have made it known.
According to Koeman, the world’s most costly defender has been playing with two broken ribs for the last few weeks.
However, the former Everton boss insists it will not stop Van Dijk starting for Liverpool at Huddersfield on Saturday.
Van Dijk’s rib problem was not a secret, although Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said it was an issue of bruising which the centre-back suffered before their Champions League victory over Paris Saint-Germain in mid-September and forced him off in the subsequent Premier League win over Southampton.
Koeman, though, suggested it was more serious than that after giving the defender the night off for Tuesday’s friendly with Belgium and releasing him back to his club.
“Virgil has played with two broken ribs in the last weeks,” the Holland boss was quoted as saying by Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf.
“He wanted to play against Germany and you have to give that club something back now.”
Liverpool have declined to comment on Koeman’s claims, but the injury is not expected to sideline Van Dijk, who has played the full 90 minutes four times since coming off against Saints – against Chelsea, Napoli and Manchester City for the Reds and in Saturday’s Nations League victory over Germany for Holland.
“He’s back in Liverpool but he is ready to play for next week,” Koeman added.
“He’s taken a rest. He spoke to the manager.
“The medical staff of the Dutch national team spoke to the medical staff of Liverpool and made the decision that he was playing only the Germany game and then after back to Liverpool.
“He is ready to play next weekend.”
Liverpool have also had Sadio Mane suffer a thumb injury, although claims in Senegal it is broken have not been verified by the club.
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