Run-in boost for Reds after Sturridge injury fears prove unfounded
Liverpool have eased fears that Daniel Sturridge will miss the title run-in and hope the England striker will join the squad at Norwich this weekend.
Sturridge limped out of the 3-2 victory against Manchester City on Sunday with what appeared a hamstring strain.
His withdrawal at the time was more precautionary. Indeed, Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers was intending to substitute Sturridge for tactical purposes anyway, but the striker has undergone tests and treatment over the last few days. A Liverpool statement confirmed the injury is minor.
"Sturridge has since undergone further assessment with the club's medical team at Melwood and a small strain was detected following a scan," said the statement. "The 24-year-old will now undergo a treatment programme in order to try and be available for the trip to Carrow Road."
Rodgers will be considering his options for the Norwich trip anyway, with Jordan Henderson serving the first of a three-match ban.
Henderson is the first Liverpool player to be sent off this season, a point Rodgers has been keen to stress, especially as players such as Luis Suarez have had disciplinary problems in the past.
"I take great pride in winning in the most sporting way we can," Rodgers said.
"If you look at us we are top of the Barclays Premier League and we are top of the Fair Play Table. I'm not saying that's the big title we want to win but it also shows you a mark of our behaviour and the values of this club.
"It's a club that has won many trophies in the past but had the humility and the class. One word I always had in my mind when I joined Liverpool was 'class'. That is important to me – that those values are restored. But for us it's game management."
Rodgers insists he never wishes to be in a situation where he is perceived as manager constantly blaming results on referees' decisions, a point he believes was underlined in the recent victory over West Ham when a contentious opposition goal was allowed to stand.
"You can't affect it," he said. "I went into the dressing room last week at West Ham when it was 1-1 and I said to the players, 'Listen you can have an excuse. I can tell you your excuse after the game – the referee gave a poor goal. But it won't change anything'. All we can do is focus again and get our flow and rhythm again.
"We try to have a no-excuses environment here. There will be little bits of luck that go for and against you but I like to think as a sporting team and a team that's trying to work well we've got our rewards this year." (© Daily Telegraph, London)