Liverpool’s efforts to find a permanent home for striker Daniel Sturridge have been thwarted in the past two transfer windows by one thing, his injury record, and as a result the club settled on loaning him to West Brom for the remainder of the season to give him a chance to prove his fitness.
That hasn’t gone so well, as in his third appearance for his loan club Sturridge pulled up due to a hamstring injury after just four minutes—and in total he has played just 78 minutes for West Brom between completing his loan move to the West Midlands club and suffering yet another injury.
”It was a blow to lose Daniel on his first run,” manager Alan Pardew said following the match against Chelsea that West Brom lost 3-0. “That didn’t give us the perfect start. We just can’t seem to get the goals that get us the wins, and they need to come, and come quickly, so Daniel’s recovery will be important.”
By the time Sturridge does return—whenever he does return, and even assuming he manages to stay fit for a time when he does—it may be too late for West Brom, who are last in the league and seven points from safety with time quickly running out on them this season.
With just eleven games left to play, they will likely need to win nearly half their remaining games to overcome that kind of a gap and whatever points the teams ahead of them earn—even if those points are mostly singles via draws. It’s a near impossible task for a side that’s won just three so far this season.
And while Sturridge falling to yet another injury and likely to miss the next few weeks makes that task even tougher, with or without him West Brom were and are a near certainty to end up demoted to the Championship, leaving both the club and striker facing a rather stark future.
“We are hoping it’s not that bad,” Pardew added. “It happened very early in the game, but we don’t think it’s a tear. It seems to be a strain, which will probably keep him out of the FA Cup game. Hopefully, fingers crossed, in a couple of weeks he’ll be okay.”