The knock on Daniel Sturridge is that he is always injured and that looks to be the case again after the Liverpool striker pulled up in training with a thigh problem, the third fitness setback of a desperately trying season for the 25-year-old and his manager, Brendan Rodgers.
Sturridge had been expected to give Liverpool’s attack a much-needed jump start by returning from a 10-week lay-off at Crystal Palace on Sunday. But, having been back in full training since last week, he suffered another thigh injury at Melwood and could be set for another extended spell on the sidelines.
The full extent of the England international’s latest injury is not known but Liverpool expect to discover the nature of the problem in the next 48 hours , but a further illustration of the brittle nature of his first choice striker may represent a major setback for Rodgers.
Liverpool stand 11th in the Premier League having struggled all season to overcome the the goals that Sturridge and Luis Suárez provided last season and face Ludogorets Razgrad in Bulgaria next week needing to win to stay in the Champions League.
Sturridge has made only three appearances for Liverpool this season, the latest coming in the 3-0 win at Tottenham Hotspur on 31 August that represented the side’s best performance so far. It was also the only occasion that Rodgers has been able to deploy summer signing Mario Balotelli in the same side as the source of 22 league goals for Liverpool last season.
The Liverpool striker then suffered a thigh injury during a full training session with England that both Sturridge and Rodgers felt was at odds with his individual recovery programme. That thigh problem kept the forward out for six weeks.
On his first full training session back from that injury he pulled a calf muscle that caused a further four-week absence, meaning Sturridge has missed 14 of Liverpool’s 17 matches this season. Another extended lay-off, should test results confirm one is required, would leave Rodgers reliant on a strike-force that has consistently failed to impress this season.