In his pre-match press conference ahead of Liverpool's game against Leicester on Saturday, Jürgen Klopp made it clear that Daniel Sturridge was most definitely not going to feature in the match. He didn't. Klopp spoke of the pressure to ease players coming back from injury into the line up, but decided that rather than force his striker into a high octane situation for twenty minutes, he'd rather give him even more time off.
It wasn't a decision to be made lightly, but it might just be the only thing the club haven't yet tried when it comes to the myriad failed solutions to getting Sturridge up to his old fitness levels. Despite Klopp's certainty about his decision to give Sturridge a pseudo pre-season, the England international casually let slip that he's available for selection.
Perfect gift for Christmas from the boys getting a win. On a sidenote I'm back training and good to go!! #Lfc #redordead— Daniel Sturridge (@DanielSturridge) December 26, 2015
Through his numerous injury layoffs, Sturridge has always been incredibly eager to get back out on the pitch and it's easy to read his tweet in that light. If you're more prone to manufacturing drama, you might be inclined to interpret Sturridge's update as a subtle dig at a manager who isn't yet keen to let him back into the line up for reasons that are obvious to anyone who isn't going stir crazy in the physio room.
As frustrating as it must be to not be able to contribute to your team — especially when your contributions are so valuable — Sturridge's FOMO will certainly be alleviated by Liverpool's ridiculous fixture list in the month of January. Klopp hasn't yet confirmed whether or not Sturridge might face Sunderland on Wednesday, but if he doesn't there's still West Ham on Saturday, Stoke City the following Tuesday, Exeter three days later on Friday...