Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk returned to the new AXA Centre in Kirkby earlier this week, much to the joy of supporters.
The Netherlands international had been training in Dubai over the last couple of months as he continues to recover from his horrendous ACL injury.
The big man is still some way off, but there is hope van Dijk could make his comeback before the end of the season.
Taking to social media shortly after his successful surgery in October, the centre-half vowed to return ‘better, fitter and stronger’ when he eventually pulls the famous red shirt on once again.
“I’m now fully focussed on my recovery and will do everything I can to be back as quickly as possible,” van Dijk explained in a tweet.
“Despite the obvious disappointment, I’m a firm believer that within difficulty lies opportunity and with God’s help I’m going to make sure I return better, fitter and stronger than ever before.
“In football, as in life, I believe everything happens for a reason and it’s important to try and keep level headed whether going through the highs or the lows.
“With the support of my wife, kids, family and everyone at Liverpool, I’m ready for the challenge ahead.
“I’d like to thank everyone for the messages of support, it’s meant a huge amount to me and my family, and now I’ll be doing everything possible to support my team-mates in any way I can ahead of a big few weeks ahead as I take my own recovery day by day. I’ll be back.”
The idea that van Dijk could return before the end of the season is a little optimistic, and hinges entirely on if he’s 100% fit to do so.
Nobody, least not the fitness staff at Liverpool and the Dutch NT camp, wants to rush the centre-half back before he’s ready.
The Reds have sorely missed their No.4 this season, and one look at the Premier League table says it all, once the big man is back on the pitch we’ll begin to see the best out of Jurgen Klopp’s team again.