Liverpool's colossal centre-back Virgil van Dijk has handed Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool fans a huge boost ahead of their fixtures against Napoli and Manchester City as he declared himself fit to play.
After a string of tough fixtures, which has included back-to-back fixtures against Chelsea, as well as a daunting test against Paris Saint-Germain, Liverpool are almost out of the woods. Despite these early season challenges, Liverpool have broken through somewhat unscathed as they sit second in the Premier League table on goal difference.
The Reds' form, particularly on the defense, can be attributed predominantly to Van Dijk. In Liverpool's 1-1 draw against Chelsea last weekend, the Dutch defender produced another sublime performance as he marshalled the defence and proved an immovable object in the heart of Klopp's defence.
Making these stellar performances all the more impressive is the fact that Van Dijk has been playing through the pain barrier, after he picked up a rib injury against former club Southampton.
Speaking to The Liverpool Echo, Van Dijk said: "My ribs are okay. I took some painkillers, but not much, it was more about being strong and being a warrior.
"You never really play completely pain free. You are always going to have something - you are never going to be 100% totally fit throughout the season.
"It was about managing it and giving everything for the team and for the fans. I was desperate to be out there. In my position you need to jump a lot and be able to compete physically so you use your ribs quite a bit."
Van Dijk expressed his surprise at having received a blow to his ribs, adding: "During the PSG game I got a knock in the ribs and was struggling a bit. Then I got another knock in the same area against Southampton.
"I was like: 'Come on, I never get any knocks there and then I get two in four days!' Luckily I was able to get back pretty quick. Now it's all good."
Liverpool will hope to regain their winning form quickly after losing points in the Premier League for the first time this season, but their next two trials against Napoli in the Champions League and then Manchester City will be a monumental test of their resolve.