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Klopp Denies "Holding Sturridge Back"

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Amid some not-to-subtle back-and-forth in the media between Klopp and Sturridge, the gaffer insists that he's not stopping the striker from making an anticipated return to the pitch.

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A week ago, or nearly three games English holiday standards, manager Jürgen Klopp instituted a "mini-preseason" for the prolific (and prolifically injured) striker Daniel Sturridge in an attempt to solve his puzzling long-term fitness woes. The idea was to get the English international training intensively for a couple of weeks and see how his body reacts.

We haven't been given any clues to how his body has responded, but his twitter account responded thusly:

As we know from Sturridge's absence from both the Sunderland and West Ham traveling squads, Klopp and the medical staff clearly disagree with his 140-character assessment.

"I don't hold him back - never!" Klopp said, "I want to have him in the best shape, that's what we're trying to do, that's all. We have to think always. The best thing would be another two weeks. But then we have to talk to all the medical department, ‘tell us how you feel with Daniel'."

Obviously getting Sturridge back healthy and firing as soon as possible would be to everyone's benefit (other than opposition defenses, I suppose), as the striker has 4 goals in 5 appearances so far this season. But for now, it seems like Klopp is content to continue with the plan, in hopes of getting Sturridge back long-term.