Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has stressed that he will not rush Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez back into the fold in pre-season until they are fully ready to make their return.
The Reds defenders
Virgil van Dijk
have been on the sidelines for months due to knee injuries.
Although both have been training withLiverpool
in their pre-season camp in Austria, Neither player was risked on Friday evening as the Reds beatMainz
1-0 in their third game of the pre-season.
Things looked positive for Liverpool fans after both van Dijk and Joe Gomez were incorporated back into training with the first team, but the boss has now cast doubt over their chances of being entirely fit in time for the start of the new season.
has no plans to let them back into the fold when Liverpool take onHertha Berlin
in their next pre-season game next week.
Klopp toLFC TV
: "It would still be a surprise [if they played against Hertha], unfortunately.
"They look really good. But look, they do everything, they play football, we do the things we can do, they don't do too much, we just have to be patient. We prepare for a full season, not a pre-season game.
"I will not risk it for a game here. We have a lot of games still coming, but I don't see them being involved for the next one."
put the ball into their own goal following
’s crossing to give the Reds their first victory of pre-season, but Klopp was happy with what he saw from his side.
"You always have to consider what you did the day before. We had a double session [Thursday], trained this morning, and this is exactly what you need. Good intensive stuff, and try to play the best football you can. It's pre-season.
"I am happy about a lot of situations I saw. First half I saw some really good football, we passed the ball quite quickly against a good organized side, a good defending side. It was far away from being perfect, but it is absolutely OK.
"The kids forced for a result in the second half, and they got it, so I'm happy about that.
"We had to defend of course; organisation-wise it's not even close to where we have to be, but how is that? When you're tired you try to bring the best organization possible on the pitch, it's never about 100 percent. I think the boys did that today, and so I am happy
"Nobody injured, which is important, everybody came through, so fine."