Liverpool star Virgil van Dijk has been able to console himself by the fact his injury has coincided with a period in which fans have largely not been allowed into stadiums, according to The Athletic.
What's the latest Liverpool injury news?
With the towering Dutch defender having been ruled out for effectively the whole season following a major cruciate ligament injury picked up in October's draw with Everton at Goodison Park, he recently took the decision to reveal that he will not be attempting to go to the delayed European Championships this summer.
Nat Philips is BETTER than Harry Maguire! Hear more on The Football Terrace
Indeed, according to the report, a cruel injury to Wolverhampton Wanderers' Jonny helped convince the 29-year-old that attempting to rush back was not worth the long-term risk to his career.
Interestingly, the report also shares some insight into van Dijk's personal thoughts on football behind closed doors. The Athletic reveal sources close to the £75m man was missing the adrenaline rush playing in front of crowds offers, with Liverpool having struggled at home since the COVID-19 pandemic forced supporters away.
When could van Dijk return from injury?
At the moment, that is not yet clear though he did tell the club's official website that he was hoping to have a return date in line with Liverpool's pre-season preparations.
"The full focus will be on pre-season with the club and that’s a realistic goal, so I am looking forward to that."
How many goals have Liverpool conceded without van Dijk?
While it is true that Liverpool weren't exactly solid with van Dijk in the team for the first five games of the season - conceding 13 times including the infamous 7-2 loss away at Aston Villa - it has been a miserable season without him.
In the 30 games since his injury, Liverpool have conceded 48 times in the Premier League alone, more than they allowed through their goal across the whole of last year's title-winning campaign (33) by a 45.5% increase.
What has Jurgen Klopp said about van Dijk's injury?
Earlier this month, Klopp suggested his star defender should think about his long-term career rather than the European Championships, advice van Dijk has seemingly listened to.
“It takes weeks," he said (via The Mirror).
"Not a week before. You cannot be 10 or 11 months out, train for one week and then play football.
“That is not possible. It should not be possible.
"No one is holding Virgil back – I can promise all the people in Holland that we cannot force it, and we will not.
“We speak about a player and his career, so nobody should force it and nobody will."
Read More: Latest Liverpool transfer rumours, news, gossip and moreNews Now - Sport News