There’s been a theme building in the Netherlands over the past week regarding the fitness of Virgil van Dijk and whether the Liverpool player will be able to take part in the delayed Euro 2020.
Of course, the Dutch slant has mainly been that he’s very much wanted by Oranje and every chance will be given for the defender to take part in the tournament. Jurgen Klopp has been accused of talking down Van Dijk’s return from injury, and therefore trying everything to make sure he doesn’t appear for his country this summer.
From Van Dijk’s perspective it’s been stated that he wants to represent the Netherlands, yet isn’t ready to go public with any hints because he isn’t sure he’ll fully recover in time, so there’s no point causing issues at Liverpool right now.
Dutch broadcaster NOS have a fair look at the situation on Wednesday, covering the annoyance and fears from both sides of the equation. They’ve spoken to Bas Pijnenburg, a surgeon, who hasn’t given the optimism the Dutch public will be hoping for.
On the level of risk Van Dijk would be taking if he takes part this summer, Pijnenburg said: “A considerable risk. It takes just as long for a top athlete to recover as it does for any other person. What makes it dangerous is that a knee can quickly feel good for a top athlete. The muscles and coordination may already be good, but recovery is still in full swing. Starting too early would also send a bad signal to other people who have had this surgery.”
The surgeon also told NOS that a knee is in most danger of a new injury around six months after the surgery, and full recovery is only a year to a year and a half after the injury.
With this danger of another injury, Liverpool will surely be doing all they can to keep Van Dijk resting over the summer.