Van Dijk & Gomez make long-awaited returns

After being out for nine months, Liverpool's famous centre-back partnership Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez have returned from injury during the most recent pre-season game!
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After 285 and 260 days respectively, Liverpool centre-back duo Joe Gomez and Virgil Van Dijk finally made their comeback in the Reds' 4-3 defeat to Hertha Berlin in Austria.

Virgil van Dijk Joe Gomez

After a year in the treatment room, gym, and anywhere else but the pitch, the pair will be delighted to have come through around 25 minutes unscathed.

Their recovery will also be to the delight of manager Jurgen Klopp, who will hope to have the pair ready for the Reds' season opener away at newly-promoted Norwich City. 

Joe Gomez

However with the new campaign due to commence in a fortnight, Van Dijk and Gomez will need to prove their fitness to be in contention for a starting place.

Though with the return of Joel Matip and new arrival of Ibrahima Konate, the German will be in no hurry to rush back the duo. 

With Matip and Konate having lined up together for a fairly significant amount of time in pre-season thus far, this could be an indication of how the Reds might line up at Carrow Road at the heart of defence. 

Nat Phillips, Ben Davies, and Rhys Williams all too currently remain at the club, which further reduces the pressure on Liverpool's returning defensive pair. 

Virgil van Dijk

Until they are close to optimum fitness levels, Klopp will not want to risk their comeback to competitive action, with quality options now able to provide cover.

After almost a year of gruelling rehabilitation, the overriding emotion of everyone connected with the club will be of delight, with the recovery of two such key assets. 

If the Reds go on to enjoy a successful campaign, they will undoubtedly be crucial figures in achieving it.