Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk has opened up on his struggles with injury, confirming rumours that he played through a broken rib earlier in the seasom.
The Dutch colossus was forced off mid-way through the 3-0 win over Southampton back in September, but returned to the starting Reds' starting lineup for the draw at Chelsea a week later.
Back in October, Netherlands boss Ronald Koeman then claimed that Van Dijk had been playing despite suffering from broken ribs, but speaking to BBC's Football Daily about his private approach to the media, the 27-year-old defender elaborated on the situation, as well as some of his more recent troubles.
"I could have said I had a broken rib in the media... two or three months ago. I played with it for three or four games, but if I say that then there's always going to be people there saying 'you don't have to say these things,' Van Dijk revealed.
"I could also have said after the game against Leicester that I had only trained one day, and I was on antibiotics still, but it's just part of it.
"I want to be out there, I want to give everything I have."
After admitting it was 'painful' to play with a broken rib the Netherlands captain added: "Maybe in the beginning of the season, you feel fresh, but during the season, nobody is pain-free. There's always something, and you have to deal with it."
Since joining from Southampton in January 2018, the centre-back has had a transformative impact on the Liverpool back-line, as it has since morphed into one of the most impressive on the continent with only 15 goals conceded in 26 Premier League matches so far this season.
There was concern over how they would fare in the first leg of their Champions League tie with Bayern Munich, given Van Dijk was suspended, but even without him they were able to register a clean sheet to take to Germany.