News flash: Daniel Sturridge is still injured. The prodigious striker has now missed more games from injury than he has played for Liverpool, and every return only seems to be a countdown to the next long-term layoff.
Although the Red's non-Sturridge strikeforce is faring better this year than last, it's not unreasonable to say that as Sturridge goes, so does Liverpool.
Jürgen Klopp knows Sturridge's quality. He knows that we need to score more goals. And he knows about the striker's horrible luck with injuries. So, in typical Klopp fashion, he's thinking outside the box, and treating this busy holiday season as a mini pre-season for the injury prone England international.
"We all know about his quality and I think it is a really brave decision what we are doing now," Klopp said during his pre-match presser. "Usually in a situation like this everybody would say 'Play. Try as long as you can'. Then next week we have the same problem again. Everything has been tried in the past, but not this."
Klopp, perhaps lucky to still be in the honeymoon phase and thus not facing any of the typical win-now-at-all-costs pressure of most Premier League managers, can afford to take his time getting Sturridge back and firing for the Reds. He recognizes the pressure to put the striker back in the line-up, but he is hoping the new approach will help Sturridge see more of the pitch upon his eventual return.
"There is always pressure, there is always the next game, it is always difficult. You see him and you think 'Oh my God, maybe 10, 20 minutes' but now we do something different. There is no decision whether it is 10 days, 14 days, we have to see how he reacts to training like that. And then at the end we have a very good striker, we all know this. But not for Saturday."
Hopefully the new strategy works, and we'll be dancing along with a goal-scoring Sturridge in the new year.