When Daniel Sturridge ended up injured for the Tottenham match last weekend, Liverpool fans around the globe let out a collective sigh. The striker, who spent most of last season on the injured list, was injured again after an all too short flirtation with fitness. He'd been back for two games. He'd scored two goals. And then he was out again.
New manager Jürgen Klopp insisted the knock was minor and that the striker would be back to face Rubin Kazan on Thursday. He wasn't, but Klopp suggested before the match that Sunday against Southampton was being targeted for Sturridge's return. Today, that's looking less likely, with the striker set to undergo scans on his injured knee and Klopp sounding far from confident.
"It's not much better at the moment," the Liverpool manager revealed at his pre-match press conference today. "With Daniel's injury we have to take it day by day, see if he gets better. If he can train tomorrow completely normally, then he'll be an option. Maybe not as a starter, but an option. But we have to wait for this. We have another treatment for him today, another screening."
Fluid had built up on Sturridge's knee following a collision with Jordon Ibe in training late last week, and the scans today will be to determine if more fluid has built up since it was last drained. If it has, it will be drained again and he is almost certain to miss the game on the weekend. If it hasn't, then there's an outside chance he will be able to train tomorrow and play on Sunday.
If he isn't fit, at least the return of Christian Benteke and Roberto Firmino—both of who returned from injury by coming off the bench against Kazan—at least give Klopp options. Divock Origi, having run willingly but struggled to make an impact in his two starts under the new manager, seems likely to be rotated to the bench on Sunday if one or both are ready to start.
"Christian and Roberto had two training sessions with the team, and usually that would be too soon to bring them into a situation where you need them, but they did well," said the manager. "They were not at the best level they can play, but they did well, and now we are a step further forward with them. They are two very important options for Sunday."