JURGEN KLOPP has revealed Virgil van Dijk is 'not likely' to play again this season – but will be named in Liverpool's Premier League and Champions League squads.
The Dutch defender, 29, has been out of action since suffering a nasty knee injury following a horror lunge from Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford in October's Merseyside derby.
Joe Gomez injured tendons in his knee as his season was ended just a month later.
And Joel Matip has now compounded the Reds' misery after his 2020-21 was cut short after suffering ankle ligament damage against Tottenham last month.
Van Dijk had fans hoping he would play a part this season after sharing workout videos.
But Klopp has had his say on a return for the Dutch superstar, revealing it's 'not likely' – despite considering adding him to his two squad lists.
Klopp claimed: “Whatever happens, I think we have space for Virgil on the Champions League list.
"I think he was [already] on the Premier League list. Nobody told me I have to change something with that.
"If we have space in the Champions League list then Virgil will be on the list.
"No doctor, nobody really told me there’s a chance for Virgil to play in this season again.
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“I don’t want to say that’s absolutely impossible but it’s not likely. It’s not likely.
“If we have space we would put them all on [the squad list], even when all the medical people tell us there’s no chance.
"We put them on because we believe in miracles from time to time.
“But if they are on the list then it’s only because we hope for nearly a miracle. That’s it.”
Liverpool were forced to dive into the transfer market on Monday's deadline day after their third – and only other – centre-back was ruled out for the season.
First the Reds raided Championship neighbours Preston to bring in 25-year-old Ben Davies.
The reigning Premier League champions paid £500,000 up front, with a further £1.1m to following – including a 20 per cent sell-on clause.
Liverpool later brought in sought-after Schalke star Ozan Kabak.
The Turkish ace, 20, initially joins on loan until the end of the season, with an option – not obligation – to buy for just £18m in the summer.
The pair are now likely to forge an unlikely centre-back partnership once they've settled into life at Anfield.
Fabinho is expected to continue in the heart of defence after his incredible season in an unfamiliar role.
The new faces will allow Jordan Henderson to return to the midfield – where he was sorely missed during their horror run between in late December and most of January.
Nathaniel Phillips will also likely enjoy more game time after an impressive appearance during the 3-1 win over West Ham on Sunday.
Rhys Williams will also compete for a place after excelling in the Champions League this season.
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