Liverpool need to tell their fans what the issue is with Daniel Sturridge - Owen
Michael Owen has called on Liverpool to announce the exact nature of Daniel Sturridge’s injuries to stop a whispering campaign against the striker.
Sturridge made his latest comeback from injury as a 59th-minute substitute in Liverpool’s 2-1 extra-time FA Cup defeat to West Ham United on Tuesday night.
The 26-year-old has become frustrated by accusations that he is not prepared to play through the pain barrier and will only make himself available if he is 100 per cent fit.
Former Liverpool striker Owen, who was dogged by injury problems during his playing career, believes it is unfair to point the finger of doubt at Sturridge without knowing the full facts.
“I find it hard to have a view on Daniel Sturridge until we find out what’s wrong,” said Owen. “The club have not really said. Until we know exactly what problems he has had or has got, it is fuelling a lot of rumours.
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“People are saying things that are potentially unfair. I have been injured before and if he is getting muscle injuries then I have every sympathy because they are debilitating. You cannot play on with muscle injuries, they just tear, tear and tear until they erupt. It is the worst thing ever.
“However, if he has joint pain – an ankle, a knee and a hip – it can be manageable. It is all about pain thresholds. We have not really been given they information so I do wince a little bit when I see people having a real go.
“I wish we knew a bit more. We all get texts on our phones saying Sturridge has done this or that, but it is all people guessing.”
Despite the fact he has only made seven appearances for Liverpool so far this season, Owen still believes Sturridge is capable of playing his way into Roy Hodgson’s England squad for this summer’s European Championships if he can stay fit.
“If he gets fit, he could be the fly in the ointment for England in terms of Wayne Rooney, Jamie Vardy and Harry Kane,” said Owen, who was speaking ahead of the return of the UEFA Europa League on BT Sport. “If he gets fit and bangs them in to the end of the season.
“He held the shirt before he got injured, so he would be right in amongst it. He is a really good finisher, is quick and has a lot of confidence. He has a lot of class and would shoot right back into the reckoning.
“But he is running out of time and with a dozen games left, if he got injured between now and the end of the season, you would have to say it is not going to happen.”