The striker is close to a return, but will need to be given time to rediscover his form.
Daniel Sturridge is close to a return for Liverpool after being out since late August through injury, but manager Brendan Rodgers says people will still have to give the striker time.
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Sturridge is back in training having suffered a string of problems since first injuring his thigh whilst on international duty with England and has since spent time in Los Angeles and Boston in rehabilitation.
Now the 25-year-old looks close to a return for the Reds and whilst Rodgers admits the forward is crucial to his team’s success, he says it will take time before the Englishman rediscovers his brilliant form from last season.
“People have to be more realistic, it will take him time,” the Northern Irishman was quoted by the Guardian.
“First he has to get fit generally, and fortunately he is a naturally fit player as he proved last season when he came back without much of a pre-season and did very well.
“But then there is match fitness, football fitness, and that will take a wee bit of time.
“Just having him on the field to begin with will be critical to the team because I think his threat is obvious. It’s the only way we will get him back up to speed.
“You look at his history and it’s very hard to forecast [a return date]. We have seen that in the past. He’s out on the field, he’s working.
“He was due to come back here towards the final stages of that rehabilitation and that’s where he is at. Hopefully over the next few weeks he will improve on that.”
The Merseysiders have badly struggled for goals in Sturridge’s absence, with none of Mario Balotelli, Fabio Borini or Rickie Lambert managing to take up the mantle left by the England international.
The attacker has been in great form since being signed by Rodgers from Chelsea in January 2013, scoring 21 Premier League goals last term as the side finished second in the English top tier.