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Jordan Henderson hopes Liverpool are in trophy hunt when Virgil Van Dijk returns

The Dutch defender needs a knee operation and is set for a lengthy absence.

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Jordan Henderson, left, and Virgil van Dijk (Richard Sellers/PA)

Jordan Henderson, left, and Virgil van Dijk (Richard Sellers/PA)

Jordan Henderson, left, and Virgil van Dijk (Richard Sellers/PA)

Captain Jordan Henderson hopes Liverpool will still be in contention to win major trophies when Virgil Van Dijk returns from his knee injury.

The talismanic central defender requires surgery after damaging an anterior cruciate ligament during Saturday’s 2-2 Merseyside derby draw with Everton.

Reds boss Klopp is reluctant to put a timescale on Van Dijk’s return to action but admits he faces a lengthy absence after being clattered by Toffees goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.

The Holland international will be a huge miss for Liverpool, with many already suggesting that the reigning Premier League champions will struggle to compete on multiple fronts without the 29-year-old.

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The moment Virgil van Dijk suffered his knee injury in a challenge with Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford (Peter Byrne/PA)

The moment Virgil van Dijk suffered his knee injury in a challenge with Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford (Peter Byrne/PA)

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The moment Virgil van Dijk suffered his knee injury in a challenge with Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford (Peter Byrne/PA)

However, Henderson is confident that the Reds can counter that loss, and that Van Dijk will return even stronger, with everyone at Anfield pulling in the same direction as they seek to overcome adversity.

“It’s a tough one. It’s a big blow for us. For him personally, obviously. But for us as a team, a massive blow,” Henderson told the club website.

“I’m just gutted for him. It’s a difficult moment, but that’s when you need to be there for each other. I’ll be there as much as I possibly can for him, I’m sure the lads will do the same.

“But I’m sure he’ll be back stronger. In the meantime we’ve got to do everything we can to help make us stronger and basically go and win as many games as we can for him, really.

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Both Jordan Henderson and Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp hope Virgil van Dijk will be back before the end of the season (Peter Byrne/PA)

Both Jordan Henderson and Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp hope Virgil van Dijk will be back before the end of the season (Peter Byrne/PA)

PA

Both Jordan Henderson and Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp hope Virgil van Dijk will be back before the end of the season (Peter Byrne/PA)

“That’s down to us as players to make sure that when he is back and he is fit that we’re still fighting to be successful and fighting for trophies.

“You’ve got to use times like this to be stronger and to be even more together than we already are. And use it as a positive in some way – I know it sounds ridiculous at the moment, but that’s what you need to try to do. We need to try to look forward and try to help us in the next however many months Virgil will be out for.

“And also stick by him and be there for him whenever he needs us. But he’s a strong character, he’s strong mentally and he certainly will be back stronger and hopefully it’s not too long.”

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