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Sterling Fit Enough to Face Lithuania, Not Fit Enough to Face Italy

Roy Hodgson's squad will get smaller now that a third Liverpool player has been released from international duty in order to take care of a minor injury back on Merseyside.

Someone's been getting his bib lessons from Mario Balotelli.
Someone's been getting his bib lessons from Mario Balotelli.
Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Liverpool players are dropping like flies. If it isn't suspensions for violent conduct, it's a raft of injuries currently plaguing the club's various internationals who would normally be spending this weekend with their national teams participating in Euro qualification. Instead, the Melwood physio room is getting closer and closer to full capacity.

After both Adam Lallana and Daniel Sturridge were ruled out of contention for Roy Hodgson's side in their upcoming matches against Lithuania and Italy, Raheem Sterling is set to make an early trip home himself. Although the player will face Lithuania on Friday, a minor toe injury was determined to be enough of a problem to prevent him from making a potentially unnecessary appearance against Italy next week.

Sterling's injury is apparently not new, with the player having played through the pain in previous matches by virtue of the temporary relief afforded to him by painkilling injections. As Football Manager enthusiasts know all too well, injections can only delay rather than heal an injury, and Sterling's return to Merseyside for further assessment leaves Jordan Henderson as the sole remaining Liverpool man on the Three Lions.

There is not yet any time line for Sterling's return to Brendan Rodgers' starting line-up. Many expected that he would play a starting role as striker against Arsenal in Daniel Sturridge's own inury-indued absence, but whether or not this will be possible will not be known until at least early next week.

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