Rodgers Offers Update On Sturridge Fitness Ahead Of Basel Clash

By on September 29, 2014
Daniel Sturridge Liverpool

Photo: Mirror

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has confirmed he will assess the fitness of Daniel Sturridge ahead of Wednesday’s clash with FC Basel after the striker was once again forced to sit on the sidelines against Everton.

Sturridge has missed Liverpool’s last five games after picking up a thigh injury while away with the England squad during the international break earlier this month.

The latest match the 25-year-old sat out was Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Everton and boss Brendan Rodgers has revealed that the striker wasn’t even close to making the bench against their Mersey rivals, despite reports heading into the game that he could feature at Anfield.

Next up for the Reds is Wednesday’s Champions League clash against FC Basel and Rodgers has confirmed that he will check on the fitness of Sturridge ahead of the game to see if he’ll be able to make the trip to Switzerland.

The Northern Irishman told Liverpoolfc.com:

“He wasn’t really close for this game [against Everton],”

“We needed to see if he could train on the Friday, but I got the message on the Thursday night that he would struggle, so he wasn’t really close to playing.

“I’ll see how he is [for Basel]. He wasn’t far away for Everton, but he certainly wasn’t fit enough to be on the bench.”

In Sturridge’s absence, Liverpool have won just one game – a late 2-1 win over Ludogorets – while they’ve lost to Aston Villa and West Ham, and been held to draws by Middlesbrough and Everton, so the Merseysiders are certainly missing their star striker.

Mario Balotelli has netted just once since his move from AC Milan while Rickie Lambert is yet to get off the mark, so it will be a huge boost for the club if Sturridge was to return against Basel on Wednesday, and Rodgers admitted that the players pace is important for the team.

“It helps to have that pace,” he said of Sturridge. “Especially when you are 1-0 up and the opposition has to come on to you. That pace through the middle can help then.

“But Daniel is obviously a top talent, whatever part of the game he comes into. And he’s not far away from being back playing.

“We want to score goals, but I believe that as the season goes on we will become better and better at that.

“I think today was a step towards what we’re working for. It was an excellent performance against a very good side. We were clearly the better team.

“And when we bring back the likes of Daniel, who is influential for us, Joe Allen who has never been mentioned but is a huge player for us, and Emre Can, we will get better as the season goes on.”

If the England international fails to make the trip to Swizerland, then you’d expect he’d then be fit and available for the weekend when Liverpool entertain West Bromwich Albion at Anfield.

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