Jurgen Klopp admits Virgil van Dijk, Jordan Henderson and Joe Gomez are still ‘quite a way’ from returning to first-team action for Liverpool.
Liverpool’s defence of the Premier League title has been hindered by long-term injuries to several key players, centre-back dup Van Dijk and Gomez ruled out for the majority of the campaign with serious knee injuries.
Van Dijk was pictured running at the Reds’ training ground this week in an encouraging sight for the side, though Klopp has insisted that the Dutch international – alongside fellow absentees Gomez, Henderson and Joel Matip – are still some distance from making a return to action.
Speaking at his pre-match press conference ahead of this weekend’s clash with Manchester United, Klopp said: “I don’t have enough English words to describe the same thing more often.
“Yes, he is running – Hendo is running, Joe is running, Joel is running. That’s all good; imagine they wouldn’t be able to run in the moment, that would be really bad.
“They are running and in rehab, it always starts with straight-line running; I’m not sure if you saw Virg running a lot of curves or just straight, so there are a lot of things to come.
“You go through a lot of steps until you are finally ready to join team training, especially with long-term injuries – there are a lot of steps to go and they are all quite a way from that.
“It means nobody told me, ‘Fasten your seatbelt, make yourself ready, the boys will be in team training next week.’ No, nothing changed really, but they are in a good way.”