Jurgen Klopp says Liverpool will wait for Virgil van Dijk to return “like a good wife is waiting when the husband is in jail”.
Van Dijk, 29, is set for surgery after suffering ACL damage when he was hacked down by Everton keeper Jordan Pickford in Saturday's Merseyside derby.
The Dutchman has not been ruled out for the season yet but it will be a battle to return this term as he prepares for an op.
And the news is a huge blow to the Reds and Kop boss Klopp.
He said: "It’s always the same, players love to be rather on their own in the moment and to deal in the first moment with it.
“I am long enough in the business to know that.
“I was injured myself, I had exactly the same injury if I’m right and it’s not then that you are then pretty chatty.
“It all will start but we are in contact, of course, we are in contact.
“We are there for him, he knows that and we will wait for him like a good wife is waiting when the husband is in jail and will do, meanwhile, all what we can do to make it as easy for him as possible.”
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Liverpool will have to rely on Joe Gomez and Joel Matip in defence with Fabinho a possibility of further cover if he steps back from midfield.
Matip underwent a scan at the weekend on a leg muscle injury and no problems were detected but Klopp still faces a selection headache for tomorrow's Champions League opener away at Ajax.
But the lengthy absence of Van Dijk is a huge blow for the Reds, who will not look to sign a free agent as further defensive cover owing to the lack of talent unattached.
Klopp added: “I expected it pretty much on Saturday after the game immediately, especially when I saw the challenge back.
“I saw it the first time only from the bench, and when I saw it back I was pretty clear that he will be out for a long time.
“So we feel now in this moment extremely, extremely for him because most of us were in a similar situation and we know that these situations are absolutely rubbish. You don’t need it.
“You don’t need it but you have to get over it and Virgil will get over it, 100 per cent, and today is already the first day, if you want, of the recovery.
“We go already in the right direction and so that’s OK and the rest is football and life, like always a challenge, so see what you get and then make the best of it and that’s what we do now.”
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