For a decent spell of Friday afternoon and evening, there was serious concern that Daniel Sturridge would be out of action for four months. Injury prone with a string of minor knocks is one thing, but a four month absence with a thigh injury was disastrous for Liverpool, who'd already had one of their players ruled out for four months earlier this summer for trying to tear someone else's muscle off the bone with his teeth.
Thankfully it doesn't look as though Liverpool will have to deal with either absence; Luis Suarez engineered the dreamiest of dream moves and is magically reappearing for Barcelona at the exact moment they face Real Madrid in the first Clasico of the season, and Sturridge will only be missing two to three weeks--that according to the Telegraph and Guardian, in addition to John Cross at the Mirror, whose input might actually mean that Sturridge will need a prosthetic--rather than the rumored four months.
That still poses a problem for Liverpool, who will, if the timeline holds, be without one the league's best strikers for matches against Aston Villa and West Ham in the Premier League, Ludogorets in the Champions League, and Middlesbrough in the League Cup. It's likely that he would have been expected to feature in three of the four, with the Middlesbrough tie one that would have seen him rested in favor of one of Rickie Lambert or Fabio Borini.
The good news is that he should be ready for the Merseyside derby on September 27, which comes four days before their second group-stage match away to Basel on October 1. The other good news is that Liverpool should be able to cope with his absence; Mario Balotelli is capable of leading the line, and both Lambert and Borini can provide cover with the support of an attacking contingent that boasts the likes of Raheem Sterling, Philippe Coutinho, Lazar Markovic, and Adam Lallana.
- Gerrard: Important for Liverpool to Retain Place in Champions League
- Liverpool Set to Monitor Victor Valdes' Return to Fitness Ahead of Potential Signing
- Sturridge Ruled Out of England's Qualifier v. Switzerland
- Lallana Features in 1-0 Closed-Doors Win Over Wolves at Melwood
- Sturridge Injured on England Duty