Virgil van Dijk delivered an emotional message via social media after he returned to the pitch for Liverpool on Thursday night.

Following nine months of rehabilitation from a knee injury, the Netherlands international stepped out for the final 20 minutes of the Reds’ pre-season friendly against Hertha BSC in Austria, alongside Joe Gomez on his own comeback.

In the aftermath of the long-awaited moment, Van Dijk posted a special thank-you to all those who supported him on the long road to his appearance in Innsbruck.

“285 days ago, I started on a journey back towards playing,” said the No.4.

“It’s hard to express how I am feeling, but it’s important to me that I say I feel blessed to have had the support of so many incredible people.

“The surgeon, my physios, 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 most of all, my family because without them, I’d be nothing. Thank you.

“The work doesn’t stop now. It’s only just starting. We keep going!”

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