Virgil van Dijk: Liverpool defender undergoes 'successful' knee surgery in London

Virgil van Dijk sustained anterior cruciate ligament damage in the Merseyside derby against Everton on October 17; watch Liverpool vs West Ham live on Sky Sports Main Event from 5pm on Saturday; kick-off 5.30pm

Virgil van Dijk comes off due to an injury 2:28
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says Virgil van Dijk's knee surgery was a success

Virgil van Dijk has undergone "successful" knee surgery to repair the anterior cruciate ligament damage he sustained in the Merseyside derby, Liverpool have confirmed.

The Dutch centre-back suffered the injury in a challenge with Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford during the 2-2 draw at Goodison Park on October 17.

"The Liverpool defender's planned operation took place in London and was conducted successfully," read a club statement.

"Van Dijk will now immediately focus on the beginning of his rehabilitation with the support of the Reds' medical department.

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"No timeframe has been placed on the Dutchman's return to action."

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is pleased the operation was a success but has warned Van Dijk has a long road to recovery.

"Surgery was successful, which is really good news - the best news you could get," said Klopp ahead of Saturday's Premier League match against West Ham, live on Sky Sports.

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Jurgen Klopp says his Liverpool team must stick together for good and for bad after losing Fabinho to injury in their Champions League win over FC Midtjylland

"This time is always unpleasant. Everybody who has had surgery knows that. You don't wake up and everything is fine, you feel the surgery.

"But he is good, as good as he can be."

When asked if he expected Van Dijk to make a strong recovery, Klopp added: "100 per cent. Clear to say, he is a quick healer and a pain coper. All these things, yes they help."

Virgil van Dijk injury 3 2:03
Former Liverpool physio Andy Renshaw explains the likely timescale of rehabilitation for an ACL injury

In Van Dijk's absence, midfielder Fabinho had started at centre-back against Ajax, Sheffield United and FC Midtjylland.

But the Brazilian suffered a hamstring injury against FC Midtjylland in the Champions League on Tuesday and will miss the game against West Ham.

Alisson: Pickford challenge was unnecessary

Brazilian goalkeeper Alisson has become the latest Liverpool player to criticise Pickford for the challenge which left Van Dijk requiring surgery.

"Every goalkeeper has a different way to play and a different way to move," Alisson told Sky Sports News.

Jordan Pickford 0:43
Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson says Pickford's challenge on Van Dijk was 'not necessary'

"In that moment, 100 per cent it wasn't a necessary movement. Thinking in my mind when I go to a situation I go to finish it because if I go too soft the opponent can score.

"But everyone has their own way. I don't agree with that way, everyone can see that. It was an unnecessary moment and movement."

 0:39
Alisson believes Liverpool have everything needed to cope with the loss of Van Dijk

Who could step in for Van Dijk, Fabinho?

Virgil van Dijk's long-term injury has given Jurgen Klopp plenty to ponder in terms of his selections at centre-back over the coming weeks, and with Fabinho also going off against Midtjylland, he may have to turn to youth.

Rhys Williams, Sepp van den Berg, Nathaniel Phillips and Billy Koumetio are among the leading young centre-backs at Liverpool, and we assess their capabilities.

Pitch to Post Preview: Jamie Redknapp on Man Utd vs Arsenal; plus Liverpool's CB options, and will Everton bounce back?

Jamie Redknapp joins Peter Smith on this week's show to look ahead to Sunday's showdown between Man Utd and Arsenal and says there are more questions than answers at Old Trafford as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer prepares for his 100th game in charge.

Sky Sports News reporter Vinny O'Connor has the latest on Liverpool's injury problems and discusses the young players who could cover at centre-back.

And Sky Sports statistician Matt Cheetham picks out the numbers which explain why Everton's defeat at Southampton could just be a blip, and makes his bold Pitch for what will happen in the Premier League this weekend.

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