The thigh strain was supposed to have been relatively minor, an injury that would keep Daniel Sturridge out for three weeks at most. He was expected to be fully fit and perhaps even in line to start in the derby against Everton. Then, as the derby neared, it became clear he would be unlikely to even make the bench.
Still, there was the trip to Basel the following week, and the match against West Brom on the following weekend, and given the expected timeline and Sturridge's history of responding well to treatment, it was expected he would be back for those matches. He wasn't, and in the end he was also left out of the England squad for the October international break.
"I don't think people relaise how hard it is mentally being injured," said Sturridge of his injuries and the constant delays in his recovery, with the striker now expected back following the break. "I've had a lot of time to reflect and can't wait to get back. It's the best feeling to be playing football, and I can take it for granted when fit."
It's been a rough way to start the new season, both for Liverpool and for Sturridge, who had been given the chance to step up to become the club's undisputed number one striker following the departure of Luis Suarez. The start of the season had been promising, too, with Sturridge looking as dangerous as he had last year.
Then another injury, and another lengthy spell on the sidelines. After being rushed back from injury before, though, and having his play at times appear to suffer for it, hopefully the delays are no more than a sign the club are determined to do what it takes for Sturridge to have his best chance on staying fit the rest of the way.