Thursday 22 March 2018

Klopp in the dark on Sturridge return date

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says he doesn't know when Sturridge will return
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says he doesn't know when Sturridge will return

Carl Markham

Jurgen Klopp admits that Liverpool need to make injury-plagued striker Daniel Sturridge more resilient before they can expect to see him play consistently.

The England international is out for a number of weeks with a hamstring strain sustained in Sunday's 2-0 defeat at Newcastle - only his sixth appearance since April 8.

Klopp previously said the 26-year-old needs to differentiate between "pain and serious pain" but accepts that without a proper pre-season behind him the forward is more susceptible to breakdowns.

That means Klopp and the club's strength and conditioning staff may have to specifically tailor his training in an attempt to avoid further problems.

"It's not easy to say when he is back for us," Klopp said ahead of Liverpool's final Europa League group tie against Sion in Switzerland.

"There are two different things we have to look on. The one is the injury and the other is how we bring him into shape so it's not so intensive for him when he needs to train.

"The good thing with the muscle injury is he could start to run and all the others things he needs, but not play football. If you look at his history in the last month and year it's not the longest time he could train.

"It is very important with all the games we have to find the specific point when it is possible to bring him for minutes and what makes more sense for his general shape.

"I can't say what we will do exactly, but we have to look at it," added Klopp, who will have Philippe Coutinho available after missing the last four games with a hamstring injury.

In Sturridge's absence, youngster Divock Origi, who scored a hat-trick a week ago in the League Cup demolition of Southampton, is in line to start in a match Liverpool only have to draw to top their group, having qualified in their previous match.

"It will be a new opportunity for me to prove myself and I will be ready if the coach needs me," said the Belgium striker.

FC Sion v Liverpool

Live, BT Sport Europe, 6.0

Irish Independent

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