LONDON (Reuters) – Liverpool centre-back Virgil van Dijk is back in training but remains doubtful for the Premier League leaders’ home match against Leicester City at Anfield on Wednesday.
Manager Juergen Klopp reserved judgement on the Dutch international’s availability amid fears that the player, who went sick after a warm weather training break in Dubai, could miss out.
“Virgil was a little bit ill, but he trained yesterday and will train today, so we will see,” Klopp told reporters on Tuesday.
Van Dijk, who joined from Southampton a year ago for a reported 75 million pounds, is a key pillar in the tight defence that has helped Liverpool soar to the top of the table.
Liverpool have limited options in defence with right back Trent Alexander-Arnold needing more time to recover from a knee injury and James Milner suspended.
“We will play with a right back. Or maybe a wing-back…I have no clue what we are doing tomorrow to be honest,” joked Klopp.
Closest rivals Manchester City can close the gap to one point when they play at Newcastle United on Tuesday, but Klopp said that was of no concern.
“If we win the game, we are not interested in other results,” said the German. “How can we change the approach? I’ve said a few times, I expect City to win every game and it makes sense that you think like this.
“I really believe in that you have to do your own work and your own job if you want to have something, don’t be concentrated on other teams,” he added.
“I expect to be one point up before the game tomorrow, and that doesn’t bother me.”
Liverpool, not in FA Cup contention, will have had an 11-day break since beating Crystal Palace 4-3 on Jan. 19 but Leicester are similarly rested.
Klopp said a game in that period would have been difficult, given injury and sickness.
“It was good that we didn’t have to play, even though the cup competitions are important. It would really not have been possible for a lot of players,” he said.
“We had a few more days and could wait for one or two players — we have to see if they will be really available for the game tomorrow.”
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Alexander Smith)