Netherlands manager Ronald Koeman says Virgil van Dijk will be fit to play for Liverpool at the weekend following his recent injury scare.
The defender withdrew from the Dutch squad to face Belgium after suffering a recurrence of his rib injury during Saturday’s 3-0 win over Germany.
Van Dijk managed to play the full 90 minutes at the Johan Cruyff Arena, but evidently re-aggravated the problem that saw him miss September’s League Cup defeat to Chelsea.
He was subsequently allowed to return to Melwood for further treatment in preparation for Saturday’s Premier League clash away to Huddersfield.
Reports on Monday claimed the club would monitor his situation right until the end of the week, but Koeman is already confident his captain will be ready to feature.
He told Sky Sports: “He’s back in Liverpool but he is ready to play for next week. He’s taken a rest.”
“He is ready to play next weekend.”
It always felt unlikely Van Dijk would be resigned to a spell on the sidelines after his insistence on playing through the pain in order to face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge just days after his absence in the cup exit.
Liverpool will meanwhile continue to assess Mohamed Salah after he was forced off with a muscle injury during Egypt’s 4-1 win over Swaziland on Friday.
He later withdrew from the squad to face Swaziland in Tuesday’s return fixture and was also granted permission to fly back to Merseyside.
James Milner’s fitness is also yet to be determined after he suffered an apparent hamstring injury during Liverpool’s goalless draw with Manchester City prior to the international break.
Based on his current form and influence, Van Dijk is perhaps the most important player of the three for Jurgen Klopp to have at his disposal.