Anxiety about players heading out on international duty is to be expected, and it only worsens when they leave with a known injury worry. For the likes of Daniel Sturridge that applies pretty much every time he's called into the England squad, but for Raheem Sterling--who's proven mostly healthy and reliable in his career to this point--it was a new phenomenon .The 20-year-old forward joined up with Roy Hodgson's squad suffering from a slight toe problem, and while it was agreed that he would be allowed to leave early, he was still set to take part in Friday night's qualifier against Lithuania.
Thankfully he made it through the comfortable win unscathed, scoring his first goal for the senior squad in the process. Post-match he received an injection in his toe, which led to some concern about the severity of the injury, but Sterling revealed that this was part of the plan all along and will hopefully allow him to face Arsenal on Saturday:
"It had been pre-agreed with the FA and obviously my club to get an injection after the game. I will receive some treatment back at the club and go from there. I will get this injection now and see how it goes in the next few days. Hopefully I will be okay for the Arsenal game."
Missing him would force Brendan Rodgers into some significant, potentially formation-altering changes against the league's third-placed side; already without Daniel Sturridge and Jordon Ibe and potentially missing Adam Lallana as well, losing Sterling would leave the manager without a handful of his preferred pieces in the 3-4-2-1 formation that's brought Liverpool success in recent months, and the personnel remaining might be better suited to a different setup at the Emirates.
Ideally,though, the change won't be needed, and Sterling's brief recovery will line up with his hopes.
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