Liverpool star Virgil van Dijk undergoes knee ligament surgery and out for season after horror Jordan Pickford tackle

LIVERPOOL superstar Virgil van Dijk has undergone successful surgery to repair his damaged knee ligaments following Jordan Pickford's horror tackle.

The Dutch defender, 29, is set to miss the season after being hacked by the Everton stopper during this month's Merseyside derby.

The Reds have revealed Van Dijk's surgery to repair his ruptured ACL was a success in a huge boost to Jurgen Klopp.

But Liverpool refused to put a timeframe on his return after initial reports suggested he would miss the rest of the 2020-21 season.

A club statement read: "Virgil van Dijk has undergone surgery on the knee ligament injury he sustained earlier this month.

"The Liverpool defender’s planned operation took place in London and was conducted successfully.

"Van Dijk will now immediately focus on the beginning of his rehabilitation with the support of the Reds’ medical department.

"No timeframe has been placed on the Dutchman’s return to action."

Fans and pundits, including Graeme Souness who called it 'assault' and 'outrageous', were left fuming after Pickford's red card-worthy tackle went unpunished.

The England goalkeeper got away with his rush of blood to the head as the whistle had already gone for offside.

Pickford is said to have tried to apologise to Van Dijk – but Georginio Wijnaldum still launched into a ferocious rant, calling him 'stupid'.

Liverpool boss Klopp is now enduring a nightmare shortage of defenders in his squad.

Joel Matip is also nursing an injury, with stand-in Fabinho also suffering a nasty-looking hamstring knock.

The Reds have since used inexperienced Rhys Williams, 19, in the heart of defence.

Their only other options are Nat Phillips, 23, Sepp van den Berg, 18, and 17-year-old Billy Koumetio – with the latter impressing in pre-season.

Jordan Henderson has also played in the heart of the Liverpool defence on one occasion.

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