Liverpool hope Sturridge will be fit for start of next season
LIVERPOOL hope to have striker Daniel Sturridge fit for the start of the season after he was injured on international duty.
The 23-year-old limped off in England's friendly against the Republic of Ireland at Wembley just over a week ago with fears he had sustained ligament damage which would sideline him for three to four months.
Liverpool's medical staff have had to wait for the swelling to subside before they could assess the damage and after seeing a specialist he has been diagnosed with an ankle sprain.
While they have not put a timescale on his recovery the club remain hopeful he will be available for the start of the new season.
"Liverpool Football Club hope to have striker Daniel Sturridge available for the beginning of the 2013-14 Barclays Premier League campaign," said a statement on liverpoolfc.com
"Sturridge's ankle injury has been reviewed by a specialist.
"He suffered a high ankle sprain and Liverpool's medical staff had to allow the swelling to reduce before a final assessment was made."
Sturridge scored 11 goals in 16 appearances after his £12million January move from Chelsea.
Were he to be unavailable for the start of next season it would leave manager Brendan Rodgers in a difficult position without a recognised senior striker.
Even if Luis Suarez, who seems increasingly likely to leave in the summer, is still at the club, he is suspended for six matches as he serves the remainder of a 10-match ban for biting Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic.
Andy Carroll, who spent last season on loan at West Ham, does not have a future at Anfield and a £15million-plus deal has already been agreed with the Hammers that requires only the England international's agreement.