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Liverpool Team News: Rodgers Offers Update On Sturridge & Sakho

Liverpool play host to West Ham at Anfield on Saturday and Brendan Rodgers has given a fitness update on Daniel Sturridge and Mamadou Sakho ahead of the game.

Liverpool play host to West Ham at Anfield on Saturday afternoon and Brendan Rodgers has given an update on the fitness of Daniel Sturridge and Mamadou Sakho ahead of the game.

Sturridge has not featured for the Reds since back in late August when he played a key role in a 3-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane.

The 25-year-old was forced to spend a month over Christmas in the United States working with specialists to try and finally overcome a niggling thigh injury that hampered him throughout his entire career.

However, Sturridge completed his rehabilitation at Melwood earlier this month and has been training with the first team squad this past week, and Rodgers has confirmed the striker could now return to the squad to face the Hammers.

The Northern Irishman revealed that Sturridge has looked extremely sharp in training but he’ll speak to the player on Friday before making a final decision over his involvement this weekend.

When asked if Sturridge has been sorely missed during the first half of the season, Rodgers told Liverpoolfc.com:

“No question, I think it’s had a huge impact on our season.

“You can trace that back to the beginning of the season when we played one of our early games against Tottenham and you could see the reference he was to the team in that match.

“He hasn’t played and the team struggled for a few months, but thankfully we’ve now nailed down a way of working and returned to our football ideals.

“The team is becoming better and better, and when you throw Daniel into that, he shines a different light and adds another dimension. He’s looked very, very good in training today, he was outstanding.

“But we’ll give him another day and I’ll have another chat with him tomorrow just to see where he’s at, but he looks in top-class condition.”

“As you can imagine, when you’re out for a long time, then you’re just feeling your way back into things, ”

“In the last few days, and in particular this morning, he was brilliant. He’s been really dynamic, fast, strong in the finish and sharp. But we have to be careful with him as well.

“He’s been sidelined for a long while and we can’t put all the pressure on him and say he’s going to be the saving grace when he’s on the pitch again. We’ll definitely be a better team with Dan than without.”

It will be a major boost for Liverpool to have Sturridge available again as he’s been a huge miss for the Merseysiders in recent months. Mario Balotelli, Fabio Borini and Rickie Lambert have all failed to fill his boots on a regular basis and although Raheem Sterling has shown promise in a central role, there’s no doubt Rodgers will want to play the youngster alongside Sturridge, not in place of him.

While it looks as though one star man is set to return this weekend, Liverpool could be without key defender Mamadou Sakho after the Frenchman picked up a back injury during the 1-0 defeat to Chelsea on Tuesday night.

Sakho didn’t take part in training today but Rodgers will hand him a late fitness to see if he can take part against West Ham. He continued:

“Sakho we’ll assess tomorrow,” said the boss. “He’s still recovering.”

If Sakho misses out, it could open the door for Dejan Lovren to make his return to the starting eleven after he recovered from a groin injury that’s ruled him out in recent weeks.

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