By BBC Sports
Liverpool defenders Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez returned to action following lengthy spells out through injury.
Dutchman Van Dijk, 30, has been out for nine months after surgery on anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) damage suffered against Everton last October.
Gomez, 24, has missed eight months after suffering a knee injury in training with England in November.
Both players appeared as second half substitutes in Liverpool’s 4-3 friendly loss against Hertha Berlin in Austria.
“It was a nice feeling,” said manager Jurgen Klopp regarding the pair’s return. “260-something days for Virg and not much less for Joe they didn’t play football, so it’s nice to have them back. It was the first step, really important.”
Van Dijk tweeted after the game:
“285 days ago, I started on a journey back towards playing. 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 Reds suffered a defensive crisis last season and finished third in the Premier League, conceding 42 goals from their 38 games, having won the title the previous campaign.
They have further friendlies to play against Bologna, Athletic Bilbao and Osasuna, before starting the season against Norwich on 14 August.