Virgil van Dijk explains how his ‘love’ for Liverpool may have caused recent hamstring injury

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Virgil van Dijk has explained that his ‘love’ for Liverpool and his hunger to be ‘influential’ on the pitch may have caused his recent hamstring injury that kept him sidelined for six weeks.

The Dutchman returned to the starting XI against Newcastle last month and has helped Jurgen Klopp’s side keep three consecutive Premier League clean sheets.

The Netherlands skipper also admitted that he may still be feeling the longterm ramifications of the shocking knee injury he sustained during the Merseyside derby back in October 2020 but is looking forward to finishing the campaign strongly with the Reds.

“Coming back from the knee injury, I played all the Premier League games, I think, because everybody wants to be out there – I want to be out there,” said Van Dijk (as quoted by Daily Mail). “That’s what I’m working hard for. What caught up is that I played too many games at a time.

“When it’s game day I want to play. I’ll do everything possible to play. But I could have also thought before the World Cup: ‘Let’s rest a little bit in order to be ready’. But I didn’t because I want to play and I want to be influential for this football club because I love this club.

“I work each and every day to be successful for this club. But it caught up with me unfortunately, my body, I’m not a robot, and I think going into the World Cup, having the World Cup, and then doing nothing for a week and coming back it was maybe not the right decision.”

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The former Southampton defender played every single minute for his nation at the World Cup in Qatar as they were eliminated by eventual winners Argentina at the quarter-final stage.

Despite Liverpool suffering without their talismanic centre half in their backline, van Dijk believes the time he spent on the treatment table with his hamstring injury also allowed more time for his knee to ‘settle’.

“At the end of the day these things happen,” our No. 4 added. “They could have not happened and (perhaps) I would still be playing. I would say that everything that happened, happened for a reason. This six weeks was a good chance for me to reflect.

“But also it let my knee settle a little bit and get ready for the rest of the season. It was a tough six weeks to watch because you want to help the team and especially with a hamstring injury you have to be very patient. Patience is not in my vocabulary, it’s not in my system, but I had to.”

Despite suffering such a serious knee injury and missing 10 months of his career, the 31-year-old insists he’s ‘very blessed’ to still be playing at the highest level and is eager to get back to his very best.

“If you let your knee and your body settle you get more out of it,” said Van Dijk. “After every game you have to make sure you are on top of it, do the right stuff. That’s everyone who had a knee injury.

“We can all go back 10 or 15 years ago and it was quite difficult to be playing at the highest level for players who had done this injury which is why I am very blessed to still be playing at the highest level and trying to get that same level everyone is expecting from me and I’m expecting from myself.”

It was great to see the big Dutchman score the opener during last night’s 2-0 defeat of Wolves at Anfield and let’s hope he can put in another solid display against Manchester United on Sunday.

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