Virgil van Dijk expressed his gratitude for the support he received after his return in Liverpool’s 4-3 friendly loss to Hertha Berlin.
Van Dijk made his first appearance after suffering an anterior cruciate ligament injury in the Merseyside derby last October at the Tivoli Stadion in Tirol on Thursday.
Holland captain and fellow defender Joe Gomez, who has been sidelined with a knee injury since November, was introduced by Jurgen Klopp with 20 minutes remaining.
Van Dijk then thanked those who had helped him on the road to recovery during his long absence.
He tweeted: “285 days ago, I started a journey back to the game. It’s hard to express how I feel, but it’s important for me to say that I feel blessed to have had the support of so many amazing people.
“The surgeon, my physiotherapists, coaches and staff who have been with me in my corner since day one. My teammates for giving me energy and keeping my head up.
“The fans for their love, support and encouragement. And above all my family because without them I would be nothing. Thank you. The work doesn’t stop now. It is only at the beginning. Let’s continue!”
285 days ago, I started a return journey to the game. It’s hard to express how I feel, but it’s important for me to say that I feel blessed to have had the support of so many amazing people. The surgeon, my physiotherapists, coaches and staff who have been with me in my 1/2 pic.twitter.com/jdWKUHykDI
– Virgil van Dijk (@VirgilvDijk) July 29, 2021
Reds boss Klopp said: “I’m not sure, 260 days for Virgil and not much less for Joe who haven’t played football, so it’s nice to have them back. It was the first step, really important ”.
Goals from Santiago Ascacibar and Suat Serdar left Liverpool two goals down, but Sadio Mane and Takumi Minamino restored parity.
Stevan Jovetic’s brace once again gave Hertha a two-goal lead, with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain scoring Liverpool’s third goal after Van Dijk’s header was saved.