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Rodgers to England: "Daniel Will Not be Fit to Play"

Though he's hoping the player will be able to make a cameo against West Brom on Saturday, Brendan Rodgers is warning England to leave him at home for the coming international break.

Scott Heavey

Today's Champions League match against Basel won't feature Daniel Sturridge, who was left back in Liverpool. He continues to recover from a thigh injury picked up on England duty when Roy Hodgson and the national team coaching and medical staff overruled the player's concerns and didn't allow him the recovery time he is given following a match by Liverpool.

By Saturday, he may be ready to at least make the bench to face West Bromwich Albion in the league. And between those two matches, Brendan Rodgers and everybody else will learn if he has been chosen by the England manager for the squad that will face San Marino and Estonia in the international break that immediately follows. If Rodgers has his way, the player most certainly won't be going.

"Daniel won't be fit," said Rodgers when asked if he would be available for England duty. "Whether he is available for the weekend or not, he won't be fit. We're hoping he can develop over the next 24 hours, train with the team on Thursday, be available for some involvement, and be in the squad on Saturday. But if you are talking about player availability they need to be fit to play and Daniel will not be fit to play."

Often when key players are injured, national team managers will call them up so that their medical staff can assess them, and while Rodgers hasn't been given any indication either way, there's a good chance Sturridge's name will be amongst those Hodgson names to the squad. Given England's history of mismanaging Sturridge's fitness, though, the hope will be for a pleasant surprise.

"I have not spoken to Roy," added the Liverpool manager. "We have good dialogue and he knows he can call and speak about any of the players. Hopefully he will have found anything I have ever said about the England players working with Liverpool to be helpful, so we will see what happens. My focus is on protecting the Liverpool players and at this moment in time my focus is on getting [Sturridge] fit for Liverpool."

Following Sturridge's avoidable training injury while on England duty early in the month, the English FA paid Liverpool £200k in reparations.

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