LONDON (XINHUA) - Liverpool could face the rest of the season without key central defender Virgil van Dijk after the Dutchman was scythed down by Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford in Saturday's (Oct 17) 2-2 Premier League draw at Goodison Park.
Van Dijk was substituted and taken to hospital after Pickford's horror challenge in the sixth minute of the match and the Dutchman was confirmed to have suffered cruciate ligament damage in his right knee.
Although Liverpool have not yet made any statement about Van Dijk's condition, he was pictured leaving hospital on crutches on Saturday evening.
In the best scenario, he will miss several weeks, but a bad injury could result in him missing the rest of the season.
Pundit Richard Keys told Qatar-based beIN Sports that he had received information that the Netherlands captain had damaged his anterior cruciate ligament and would be out for "seven to eight months".
Liverpool are said to be furious at the claims as his injury diagnosis has yet to be confirmed but according to the Daily Mail, it is understood that "the fear is that van Dijk is set for a major spell on the sidelines".
The anger has been exacerbated by Pickord escaping any punishment for his tackle as van Dijk was deemed to be offside when the challenge was made.
Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson later revealed the England No. 1 told him he was sorry for what happened.
"Everyone keeps asking us about it so I'm guessing it's a red card. It mustn't be a good challenge," the midfielder told BT Sport. "To be fair, Jordan came up and apologised to me after the game and (told me) to tell Virgil."