The good news is that you are a supporter of Liverpool Football Club. Hold on to those positive feelings. The bad news is that Daniel Sturridge has still not returned to full training and is not expected to be involved against West Ham on Sunday. The even badder news is that the England striker is not likely to be fit for the following match against Middlesbrough, either.
“We don’t have to think about him for West Ham or Middlesbrough,” Klopp said today in his pre-West Ham presser.
“I can’t make timelines. What’s the game after Middlebrough? Everton? That would be nice but I have no idea.”
Sturridge has missed the last three matches against Sunderland, Leeds and Bournemouth after suffering a calf injury in November. It’s cruel timing for an injury-ravaged player who would have been eyeing the absence of Philippe Coutinho as an ideal time to get into the team, build up his match fitness and go on a tear.
While the rest of the squad went off to Spain for a little rough-and-tumble winter bonding trip at the beginning of the week, Sturridge stayed behind to continue treatments in an effort to be fit and ready for the Anfield pitch this weekend. But, that effort looks to be of no avail.
“Maybe today he will go on the pitch,” said Klopp, “but that means we’re starting football work on the pitch and not with the team, with the rehab coach.”
None of this information sounds good. Not for Daniel Sturridge and not for supporters who want to see Daniel lighting up the league again. But, as Klopp knows, you can’t rush players back into the team just to assuage emotions. It’s bad news. Nobody likes it. But, Daniel Sturridge doesn’t like it way more than you don’t like it.
“He’s not happy,” Klopp said of Sturridge. “But that’s the life of a footballer. You can’t force these things.”