Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp admits his club “hope for a miracle” regarding Virgil van Dijk’s recovery but accepts it is unlikely he will play again this season.
The Holland captain has been out with an ACL injury since mid-October and while his progress has been encouraging, his chances of featuring for the defending champions in their remaining matches look slim.
Liverpool left the Dutchman out of their squad submitted to the Premier League after the first transfer window closed but it needs to be resubmitted after they brought in Ben Davies and Ozan Kabak on loan on deadline day.
“No doctor told me there’s a chance for Virgil to play again this season. I don’t want to say it’s impossible but it’s not likely,” said Klopp.
“I think we have space for Virgil on the Champions League list. If we have space for it, then Virgil will be on the (Premier League) list.
“If there is no space, we have to make a decision. If he is on the list it is only because we hope for a miracle – that is it.”
Van Dijk is Liverpool’s third senior centre-back likely to miss the remainder of the season.
Joe Gomez is already ruled out with a knee injury and Joel Matip with a damaged ankle.
It is why the club made a last-minute dip into the transfer market to sign Davies from Preston for an initial 500,000 pounds ($A899,542) and bring in Schalke’s Kabak.