Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has told his injury plagued striker Daniel Sturridge to carry on playing even when he isn’t 100% fit, reports the Daily Mirror.
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The 25-year-old has had problems staying fit this season, after a stellar campaign last time round that included 21 goals in the Premier League. Without their key forward the Reds have struggled, and are currently sixth in the top flight. They need to pick up wins as well as rely on the results of others if they’re to have a chance of qualifying for next Champions League.
However, even though the England international has now been able to return to the starting line up at Anfield, he hasn’t been in his best form. This has continued to hurt the Merseyside club, but manager ROdgers claims to have expected this.
He said: “I knew that when he was first coming back. It’s a long time out. When you’re out for that length of time, it maybe takes you the same amount of time to get back again. The key for him was to get back and be fit, but he needs a good pre-season – a total run – and hopefully he’ll be fine for next season. Until that point, we have to maximize what we can get out of him.”
He then added: “Everybody is different when they get injured and how they deal with it. A player will never be 100 per cent fit – more or less – when he plays. They’re always carrying something. If it hinders performance, then you can only trust the player that he cannot give any more or they can’t operate at the level they want to because of injury.
“With Daniel, there’s been a number of injuries that he’s had – and that’s before he came here. He had a fairly sustained run last season and served us well, but this season has been difficult. He just needs to find a way to physically and mentally try to keep himself as fit as he can, but sometimes that isn’t all down to you – sometimes it’s about luck as well.”