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Sturridge Targets Manchester United Return

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Daniel Sturridge wasn't expected back in action until October at the earliest. Instead, he's nearing a return to training and targeting a place in the lineup against Manchester United on September 12th.

Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Despite that he wasn’t expected to be back in training for at least another month or maybe even two, injured Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge is targeting Manchester United on September 12th for his return. After a season plagued by injuries, a torn hip muscle that required surgery kept Sturridge out for the final two months last season.

The goal set by the club had been for Sturridge to return to action in October, but with the striker recovering ahead of schedule, he now hopes that he can be back in training by the end of August. He would then take two weeks to get up to full speed before being ready to make his competitive return against United following the September international break.

Sturridge tore his hip muscle in the last match against United, a 2-1 defeat on March 22nd, though he made two further appearances before being shut down for the season. That injury was the final blow in a year that had already seen Sturridge miss all of September due to a thigh strain and then mid-November through the end of January with a hamstring injury.

All told, Sturridge was unavailable for 42 Liverpool matches in all competitions last year. In 2013-14, he missed 18 games over nearly three months due to a pair of ankle injuries. In 2012-13, a groin strain kept him out two weeks following his arrival at the club from Chelsea, where a hamstring injury had sidelined him for 36 days and 11 games the previous autumn.

It’s an injury record that has many nervous of counting on Sturridge to be a major contributor this season despite his talent. If he is ready to return early and can stay healthy, though, his inclusion would arguably give Liverpool the most dangerous attack in the Premier League, with the biggest problem figuring out how to fit in all the attacking talent on hand.