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The defender still has not returned to training with Liverpool and only has a month to get back in shape for the summer tournament

Jurgen Klopp has warned against rushing Virgil van Dijk back into action at Euro 2020 but says he will not hold the defender back from featuring for Netherlands.

The centre-back has been out of action since October with a cruciate ligament injury.

Van Dijk is seen as crucial to Netherlands’ hopes of success at the European Championship this summer, but it remains unclear if he will be fit enough to make the squad.

What did Klopp say?

Klopp says Van Dijk will need several weeks to get back in shape for the competition, but will not discourage him from joining up with Frank de Boer’s team.

“Virgil’s knee. Look, I don’t want to hold him back, but you cannot force it as well,” Klopp told reporters.

“Now let’s just go through all these kind of things. You are all long enough in the business to know if you want to play a tournament, you have to train before – proper football training weeks before, not a week before.

“You cannot after 10, 11 months out, train a week and play football. That’s just not possible, it should not be possible.

“Nobody holds him back, I can promise all the people in Holland or wherever. But we cannot force it as well and we will not. We speak about a player and his career.

“Nobody should force that and nobody will – not Holland, not us, and [not] Virgil as well. He just tries to get fit as quick as possible.

“In the moment, nobody knows when that will be exactly but you can imagine it will be for sure very, very tight with the Euros and the team training and stuff like this because he is not in team training yet and will not be in the next weeks. So, I don’t know.

“But in the end it’s a decision of Virgil and he will get massively influenced by the feeling in his knee.”

What condition is Van Dijk in?

The 29-year-old has made only eight appearances for the Reds this season, last featuring in the Merseyside derby clash against Everton on October 17.

He underwent an operation on the knee injury he sustained following a clash with Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.

While Van Dijk is working on his recovery, he has not yet returned to training with Klopp’s team.

Van Dijk running out of time

The former Groningen and Southampton star has just a month to get back in shape if he is to make the Oranje squad.

The national teams will have to announce their 23-man squads by June 1 before the tournament kicks off 10 days later.

Netherlands will face Scotland and Georgia in friendlies on June 2 and June 6 respectively.

They will then begin their Euro 2020 campaign with a match against Ukraine on June 13, followed by games against Austria and North Macedonia.

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