Wednesday 22 November 2017

Reds woe as Sturridge faces six weeks on sidelines

Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge battle during Liverpool training yesterday
Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge battle during Liverpool training yesterday

Chris Bascombe

Liverpool fear that Daniel Sturridge is facing a lengthy absence after suffering possible ligament damage to his left ankle in training.

Sturridge left the club's training ground, Melwood, on crutches yesterday afternoon as manager Brendan Rodgers finalised his plans for tomorrow's trip to Hull City.

The England striker was sent for a scan and was still awaiting the full results of that assessment last night, but if it is ligament damage he could be out for a minimum of six weeks.

That would rule Sturridge out of the hectic festive period at least, representing a serious blow to Liverpool's pursuit of a Champions League place. After Hull, they face West Ham and Norwich City and then have demanding fixtures, including games at Tottenham, Chelsea and Manchester City.

Sturridge was already suffering with a thigh problem, which prevented him from starting the Merseyside derby last weekend, when he came off the bench to secure a point in a 3-3 draw.

He has scored 11 goals this season, helping to elevate Liverpool into second place in the Premier League.

Sturridge damaged ligaments in his right ankle playing for England in a friendly against the Republic of Ireland last June.

Despite the setback, the Liverpool manager is sure his squad are equipped to go the distance for the rest of the season, although he would still welcome additions when the transfer window opens in the new year.

"Last year the couple of players we got in January were great and gave us a great boost," Rodgers said. "I would love to have that boost because that injection of quality can set you up for the second half of the season."

Rodgers acknowledges his side face a tough period, but he said: "I would expect us to last the pace. There is no question of that. We have the determination to do that."

Jon Flanagan will continue at left-back against Hull, being preferred to the out-of-favour Aly Cissokho. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Hull v Liverpool,

Live, tomorrow, Sky Sports 1, 2.05

Irish Independent

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