Although he hasn't been officially ruled out of Sunday's match against West Ham United yet, Raheem Sterling is likely to miss the game due to a minor thigh injury that has flared up in recent weeks.
"He's had this for a few weeks where he's had a slight, slight tear at the top of his thigh and it doesn't keep him out completely," Brendan Rodgers said. "But gradually over time it has got worse. It is something that if we continue with, it could end up bigger and creating problems for him when he gets older, so we have to ensure we don't store up a problem for later in his career."
An ounce of prevention being worth a pound of cure, the injury sounds like it's still in its infancy and that the club are keen to protect Sterling's physical development by not subjecting his muscle to unnecessary match day strain.
"If it is the best thing to do to rest him for the rest of the season," Rodgers continued, "then we will do that because we don't need to risk him when it could cause problems for the future."
Rodgers spoke earlier this year about the huge success that Sterling has had so far this season, noting that the arrival of Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho would allow the youngster to get a much needed rest for the remainder of the season. That Rodgers is considering resting a player for the next six weeks that he'd already decided to give a rest to isn't perhaps a critical blow to the remainder of the season for both the club and the player.
What's most important is that Rodgers and his medical staff are apparently learning from the mismanagement of Joe Allen's fitness and are trying to avoid making the injury worse by having Sterling play, even if it's only for ten minutes off the bench. Assuming the club are assessing Sterling's fitness using more than Rodgers' patented Thumb Touch Injury Assessment System™, the protective care being given to the player in consideration of his future is very much welcome.