Thursday 8 December 2016

Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge expected to return to action in September... against Man United

Chris Bascombe

Published 05/08/2015 | 10:28

Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge struggles with injuries
Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge struggles with injuries

Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge is expected back training at Melwood before the end of the month, with a possible return to action in September.

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Sturridge hopes to be fit for selection following the next international break – England have European Championship qualifiers with San Marino on September 5 and Switzerland on September 8.

Potentially, that could see Sturridge return to the Liverpool squad in time to face Manchester United at Old Trafford in the Premier League on September 12.

The 25-year-old has spent the summer recuperating in the United States having undergone surgery on a recurring hip problem. Sturridge has suffered frequent groin and calf injuries through his career, and Liverpool’s owners Fenway Sports Group took drastic action last season in an effort to cure the club’s star striker of his chronic issues.

Sturridge was sent to Boston to be treated by the medical team associated with the Boston Red Sox. It is believed the hip complaint may have been the trigger for other injury problems.

Sturridge remained in the USA when Liverpool returned to pre-season, so his return to Merseyside in the next couple of week represents a welcome step forward in his rehabilitation.

In his absence, manager Brendan Rodgers has pressed ahead restructuring the team with Christian Benteke’s arrival for £32.5 million creating both a potential partner and a source of competition for the England striker.

Rodgers will feel blessed to have so many options once Sturridge is fit as Danny Ings and Divock Origi have also joined the club. It should be a contrast to last season when – with Sturridge absent – Rodgers regularly felt compelled to pick a starting line-up with no recognised centre-forward.

Sturridge’s injuries proved debilitating not only for himself but the rest of the team. He made just 12 Premier League appearances last season, missing the whole of Liverpool’s Champions League campaign. He still scored five goals and his strike rate is so impressive it compares favourably with the greatest Liverpool strikers in history.

Getting him on the pitch has been the biggest problem for the club and with Rodgers hoping a 4-3-3 formation will reap dividends this season it will be a sub-plot of Liverpool’s season as to whether a fully fit Sturridge can partner Benteke or will have to readjust to the possibility of waiting patiently for an opportunity to be re-established.

In the meantime, Liverpool will be grateful the striker is approaching fitness again after a nightmare 12 months.

Telegraph.co.uk

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