Virgil Van Dijk injury is 'worse than first feared' with concerns he will NOT be same player when Liverpool star returns

VIRGIL VAN DIJK'S ACL knee injury could be "worse than feared" – leaving him never the "same player" again.

Liverpool's star defender will now reportedly be out until NEXT SEASON after he was clattered by Everton keeper Jordan Pickford's clumsy challenge in Saturday's 2-2 draw.

And The Athletic's David Ornstein said: "It's my understanding – it's not official – that the damage to Virgil Van Dijk's right knee is perhaps worse than initially feared and could extend beyond the ACL.

"It's unfair to speculate further or give further detail but… it would indicate that we won't see Van Dijk back on a pitch until next season.

"He will now undergo surgery. Exactly when, we don't know."

And ex-England winger Trevor Sinclair, believes VVD's ACL woe might be more serious than hoped as he was clattered by Pickford rather than hurting himself while turning or twisting.

The former West Ham and Manchester City ace told talkSPORT: "If it was an ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) and without any impact, this injury happens quite a lot, where there is no-one around the player and he twists and all of a sudden he has done his ACL, then that's fine.

"You can say he might be back in seven months and might be a similar player


"When it's an impact injury, which this was, you're talking the ACL, which potentially could have damaged his PCL (posterior cruciate ligament) and.. could mean the tibia and the fibia banged together.

"If it is any of them, and not just the ACL, then this could be a lot longer for Virgil Van Dijk to come back I would doubt that we are going to see the same level of Virgil Van Dijk when he comes back."

Holland centre-back Van Dijk, 29, faces surgery on his anterior cruciate ligament after the weekend's Premier League thriller at Goodison Park.

And Liverpool midfielder Gini Wijnaldum was among those to criticise "stupid" Pickford. 

Dutchman Wijnaldum said the champions are "still devastated about Virgil" after the draw at their neighbours and Prem leaders.

Wijnaldum added: "The way it happened is really hard for us and I think everyone really had a bad feeling about it.

“The way Pickford went in on the challenge was, in my opinion, completely stupid.

“I believe he did not want to injure Virgil, but he did not care about what happened after the tackle.

“I think we have had this in a lot of games against Everton, in my opinion.They take it way too far in the games we play against them."

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