Liverpool handed huge injury boost ahead of Newcastle clash with key player fit to start
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Jurgen Klopp has confirmed Virgil Van Dijk will be fit to start against Newcastle United on Saturday.
The centre-back has been absent since he was withdrawn with a hamstring concern at half-time of Liverpool’s 3-1 loss to Brentford on January 2.
However, last week the Netherlands international returned to light duties at the AXA centre, and was fit enough to be included as part of the substitutes for Monday’s 2-0 win over Everton in the Merseyside Derby.
In his press conference Klopp confirmed Van Dijk would be able to play the full 90 minutes at Newcastle.
When asked if the centre-back was fit to start, the Reds boss said: "I think so yeah.
"Yesterday (in training), he looked absolutely ready. I think today he will look the same, and then we'll make a decision."
Klopp gives updates on Liverpool absentees
Klopp's side have been seriously depleted for much of the season.
However, the Reds were able to name Van Dijk, Roberto Firmino and Diogo Jota in the squad against Monday's Merseyside rivals.
Klopp confirmed those players could be involved during the weekend's encounter against fourth-placed Newcastle.
However, they remain without Thiago Alcantara, who has not recovered in time for the trip to the North-East.
The Spain international is one of four to miss out, with Ibrahima Konate also injured and Calvin Ramsay is out for the season having undergone surgery. Luis Diaz stepped up his recovery this week, but will likely not return to first team matters before March.
"The same squad is possible, nobody has come back since then," Klopp said.
"Ibou (Konate) not yet, Luis (Diaz) not yet, but that's it pretty much. Nothing happened on the injury side, Thiago is not available, Calvin (Ramsay) had surgery, not available, but that's it."
However the German was more positive about Liverpool's injury situation.
Klopp said: "We had some senior players not (able to get) in the squad for the first time in a long time.
"The options are there. It's massive. Bobby was eight weeks, Diogo was longer. We have to look how we can use them."