Despite a knee problem that wasn’t supposed to exceed 3 weeks before he was supposed to be declared fit and back in a team, Liverpool no longer has a level of certainty over Daniel Sturridge’s fitness. Although now training separately, the club still can’t say when the England international will be back following a knock he picked up on his knee in October after recently returning from a hip injury that kept him out for a larger part of last season. Sturridge’s fitness has always been a thing of concern for the Merseysiders as he is hardly around to help the team despite his sharp eye for goals.
Having come back from the hip injury that required an operation, he could only feature twice in the League this season under the erstwhile coach as the knee injury kept him out once again. Touted to last for just 3 weeks, he has missed out training sessions with the new coach and has been unavailable for selection. But Jurgen Klopp isn’t in haste to have him return to full fitness as the German has declared that enough time will be given the 26 year-old to recover and regain full fitness so as not to further complicate issues for the injury-prone forward. Speaking before weekend’s clash against Crystal Palace, the German said:
“I think Studge will be back soon – but soon is relative and I actually don’t know. He hasn’t returned as fast as we thought he would, but we cannot put pressure on him. All I can say is that at this moment he is training outside again after four weeks. So of course he needs time so that we can bring him back to good shape. Once he starts training properly, I will talk about when Daniel can play. At the moment it is like he has had another summer break. He needs to train hard before I can really talk about him playing.”
Liverpool will have to do without his services for a while and stick with Benteke to lead the attack while Origi is backup. Both Belgian forwards couldn’t help Klopp continue his unbeaten form on Sunday as they were defeated at home 2 goals to 1. Coutinho had helped restore parity to the game after Crystal Palace took an early lead, but a second half goal from the visitors with few minutes to go condemned the side to their first loss under the new coach.