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Klopp reveals ‘tricky moment’ with Van Dijk in fiery phone call over injury worry

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has revealed he encountered a “tricky moment” trying to make sure Virgil van Dijk had not suffered an injury on international duty.

The Netherlands defender has only recently returned from a long-term knee problem suffered last October. Indeed, he has looked back to near his best in his three Premier League outings this season. As such, major concern arose for him when he stayed on the ground after a tackle in the international break.

He collided with Halil Dervisoglu during his country’s 6-1 win over Turkey on Tuesday and hurt his ankle.

The Dutchman himself eased concern over his fitness, saying he was “already over it” in a post-match interview.

However, Klopp has revealed in an interview with Liverpool’s official website that that was not entirely the case.

“With Virgil, that was obviously a scary moment, you can imagine,” the manager said.

“I sent him a message after the game, ‘Are you alright?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘100 per cent?’ ‘200 per cent.’ ‘Come on, send me a video of you without limping…’ ‘I’m only limping off.’

“So he called me from the bus and said, ‘Boss, I’m fine!’ I said, ‘Why are you limping then?’ He said, ‘My wife asked the same!’

“So, yeah, that was a bit of a tricky moment but apart from that, no, all fine [for the other international players].”

Indeed, Takumi Minamino and Harvey Elliott suffered injuries on duty with Japan and England Under-21s, respectively.

However, both have recovered and will hope to make an impact in Sunday’s Premier League clash against Leeds.

Roberto Firmino is still nursing the hamstring injury he suffered against Chelsea at the end of August.

James Milner has yet to return to team training but could do so ahead of the upcoming match at Elland Road.

Keita back in Liverpool

Klopp was also able to deliver a positive update on Naby Keita.

The Guinea international was in his home country during the coup d’état this week, but has since returned to Merseyside.

“Naby is fine,” Klopp said. “Yesterday he was not here [at the AXA Training Centre] but he was in Liverpool again.

“I will have a chat with him today, but from what I know from all the calls and talks we had, he’s fine.”

Liverpool are looking to maintain an unbeaten start to the season against Leeds, having picked up two wins and a draw so far.

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