Sheffield United's next opponents Liverpool receive a much needed morale boost ahead of Sunday's match at Bramall Lane

Virgil van Dijk has reported for duty at Liverpool’s AXA Centre ahead of their game against Sheffield United on Sunday, marking a major step forward in his battle to overcome injury.

Thursday, 25th February 2021, 5:00 pm

Although the Dutchman will not take part in this weekend’s Premier League fixture at Bramall Lane, or possibly any of the 12 remaining games on the visitors’ schedule following their trip to South Yorkshire, his return to the reigning champions’ training base in Kirkby has lifted spirits behind the scenes following a run of four straight Premier League defeats.

Fellow defender Andy Robertson was pictured welcoming van Dijk back in the media yesterday, with the Holland international later taking to social media to express his determination to bounce back “stronger than ever before” following surgery.

“In football, as in life, I believe everything happens for a reason and it’s important to keep level headed whether going through the highs or the lows,” he continued.

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Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk, top left, is tackled by Everton's goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, centre, before leaving the match injured during the English Premier League soccer match between Everton and Liverpool at Goodison Park: Peter Byrne/Pool via AP

Van Dijk has not played since October, when he damaged a cruciate ligament during a collision with Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.

With Jordan Henderson’s name being added to Liverpool’s casualty list during last weekend’s defeat by Carlo Ancelotti’s side at Anfield, both Jurgen Klopp and United’s Chris Wilder are grappling with selection issues in defence. United are expected to be without all of their three first choice centre-halves, after Chris Basham was injured during their defeat by Fulham on Saturday night. John Egan and Jack O’Connell are also set to miss out, while midfielder Sander Berge and striker Lys Mousset will miss the game.

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