Liverpool loanee Sepp van den Berg has suffered an injury to his ankle ligaments which could keep him out until 2023.
The Dutchman joined Bundesliga outfit Schalke on loan this summer on loan from the Reds after a successful 18 months with Preston North End.
Across one and a half seasons, he made 66 appearances for the Lancastrian side, scoring two goals, and played across the entirety of the back four or five.
After arriving in Germany, Van Den Berg settled into life well - playing four of their first eight matches before coming off early against Augsburg on Saturday.
Die Königsblauen were defeated 3-2 by Enrico Maassen’s side despite Mergim Berisha’s red card in the 70th minute. Ermedin Demirovic gave the visitors a 2-0 lead before Simon Terodde and Tom Krauss equalised for Schalke. Andre Hahn then stole the win for Augsburg, seven minutes after Berisha’s dismissal.
The club confirmed on their website subsequent to the result that Van Den Berg and teammate Rodrigo Zalazar will miss the rest of 2022.
“Two players suffered injuries in the 3-2 defeat against FC Augsburg on Sunday (2nd October),” Schalke wrote on their website.
“Sepp van den Berg was diagnosed with a serious ligament injury, while Rodrigo Zalazar suffered a metatarsal fracture in the game against the Fuggerstädtern.
“The injuries mean that both players will be unavailable for the rest of Schalke’s competitive games this calendar year.”
This is a huge setback for Van Den Berg after several years of consistent, competitive football, and for Liverpool who have extremely high hopes for the former PEC Zwolle man.
Before his arrival at Schalke, Van Den Berg was originally expected to have another spell at a more ambitious Championship club.
Burnley and Blackburn Rovers were the two sides increasingly interested in bringing him in, with the Premier League also an option with AFC Bournemouth.
He was kept at Anfield due to injuries suffered by Ibrahima Konate and Joel Matip, and was on the bench for four Premier League games at the start of this season.
Hopefully he can kickstart a speedy recovery to help Schalke stay in the Bundesliga.
Featured Image Credit: Alamy
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