Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk has insisted that he has not suffered any lasting effects following an ankle injury scare for the Netherlands.
The 30-year-old went into the air after a challenge from Halil Dervisoglu during his country’s 6-1 win over Turkey on Tuesday. Upon returning to the ground, though, he stayed there for a brief spell. Injury would have proved the worst outcome for Van Dijk following his nightmare with time on the sidelines in the past year.
He suffered a serious knee injury last October and only returned to Premier League action last month.
However, the centre-back allayed concerns over his fitness, indeed cracking a joke.
“I’m fine, luckily. I’m already over it,” Van Dijk told Goal. “Maybe because I am so big, they think I am acting.
Asked what he meant by that statement, he added: “Because when I go down, it goes in quite a slow way.”
Liverpool have enjoyed Van Dijk’s return, the player who formed a crucial part of their title-winning season in 2019/20.
He has impressed in the three Premier League games so far this season, largely keeping Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku at bay just before the international break.
Before then, he contributed to two clean sheets, with Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool still unbeaten.
Meanwhile, he played every single Premier League game for two seasons before his injury. In that time, Liverpool racked up 97 and 99 points in back-to-back campaigns, respectively.
However, they missed his leadership and defending last season, when Joe Gomez and Joel Matip also suffered long-term injuries.
Upon his return, he has not only completed three Premier League games, but also played every minute of his country’s international break.
The Netherlands have recorded two wins and a draw as they seek qualification for the 2022 World Cup.
Liverpool warned of Leeds quality
Van Dijk will now return to Liverpool ahead of Sunday’s clash with Leeds United.
Unlike the Reds, Marcelo Bielsa’s side have not enjoyed the best of starts to the season. Two draws and a defeat have been accumulated so far.
Nevertheless, the Whites will look to bounce back against Liverpool at Elland Road.
Liverpool midfielder Fabinho has picked out a key quality his team-mates must watch out for.