Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp admits he is still not sure about striker Daniel Sturridge’s fitness and when will he return to the starting lineup.
However, Sturridge has already returned to training after sitting out six matches with a knee injury, but still not ready to feature against Crystal Palace at Anfield on Sunday.
The promising England striker has till now suffered five different injuries since the beginning of last season, playing only 12 league games during that time scoring 4 goals. This term the 26-year-old managed to net twice in three Premier League matches that he played.
Sturridge was earlier suggested to return quickly after suffering his latest injury in the training ground collision with Jordon Ibe three weeks ago.
But Jurgen Klopp doesn’t want to take any risk to rush back the English striker, who spent all the summer recovering from the surgery of a torn hip muscle.
The new Liverpool manager told: “I think Sturridge 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.”
Due to these persistent injuries, Sturridge was out of all 10 matches of England’s Euro 2016 qualifying campaign. England manager Roy Hodgson recently admitted he wants to see Sturridge back on training completely before bringing him to the Euro in France next summer.
“They must be devastated to have lost so much football but who knows what it’s going to bring? We hope they’re going to be back,” Hodgson said of Sturridge and injured teammate Danny Welbeck of Arsenal.
“What you’re really asking is, are we going to take a player to the tournament that’s virtually not played any football, but because he’s a talented player might just become, in some miraculous way, capable of playing football? It’s unlikely.
“I wouldn’t be happy to really take players with us in the hope that they will become fit during the tournament. I would rather have 23 players who are all fit and ready to go and capable of playing from the very first minute when I name the squad.”