Virgil van Dijk has reportedly suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury and is facing seven or eight months out of action for Liverpool.
In the first half of Saturday’s Merseyside Derby, the Liverpool defender limped off after a horror challenge from Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.
The England and Toffees No.1 was seemingly lucky to escape a red card after scything the Dutchman down in the box early on, clattering into his knee with the challenge.
Later on Saturday afternoon, Paul Joyce updated that Van Dijk had been taken for a scan to immediately assess the severity of his condition.
And it has now been reported on the BeIN Sports broadcast: “the information that we’re receiving is that he’s done his anterior cruciate ligament in that incident with Jordan Pickford.
“And he’ll be out for the best part of seven/eight months if that is the case.”
The challenge appeared a certain penalty and sending off, but a VAR review showed Van Dijk was just offside before Pickford’s wild tackle.
It was initially claimed that the offside cancelled out any serious foul play, which meant Pickford was spared.
But PGMOL then confirmed that the VAR had failed to check whether it was a red card due to the analysis of the offside and, as it was a SUBJECTIVE decision, they ruled Pickford had made a genuine attempt to play the ball.
On the incident, former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher said: “If it’s an act of violent conduct it’s factual. A tackle is subjective because, is it serious foul play?
“That’s people’s choice and that’s where the dilemma was, they didn’t feel it was serious foul play so it defaults back to the offside.”
That mattered little to Van Dijk, though, as Pickford’s tackle spelled the end of his Merseyside derby.
The centre-back limped off and was subsequently replaced by Joe Gomez inside ten minutes.
Now it is claimed that his season could be under threat as a result of the challenge.