It's been a slow road back to health for Daniel Sturridge. Just a few short weeks in to the season, Sturridge was felled by a thigh injury, and every time it seemed like he was about to return the the pitch, boom, injury would strike again.
That's how we find ourselves with Sturridge coming off his first two appearances in months, scoring late against West Ham to secure a win and helping drive Liverpool's comeback victory against Bolton in the FA Cup. Now, despite Brendan Rodgers' reservations, Sturridge feels he's ready to make his first start in Saturday's Merseyside Derby.
"First and foremost I’m excited," Sturridge gushed when asked about the weekend's match against rival Everton. "Its my favourite game. I love it, I love that game. The feeling in the city is completely different when you play that game, the energy and everything.
"So I’m looking forward to it. In terms of whether I’m going to play or not that’s the manager’s decision but I am ready for whatever, ready for anything that the manager wants to do, I feel I’m ready to start."
Sturridge did accede that the decision on whether or not he starts is completely down to Rodgers, but definitely made it clear that he wants to be out there from the first whistle. Considering how much better Liverpool has looked and functioned as an attacking side when he's been on the pitch, it's hard not to give Sturridge that opportunity. Especially if it means making it more likely to get one over on Everton, Liverpool need to be doing everything it can to win league matches right now. Having Sturridge back and healthy makes that job much easier.
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