Liverpool have been dealt a further blow with the news that Daniel Sturridge is now expected to be out until next year.
The 25-year-old’s latest injury setback was revealed last night, but reports today suggest he will miss the rest of 2014 – much worse than first feared.
The injury is, incredibly, Sturridge’s 13th since joining Liverpool less than two years ago, with the majority of those being muscle related injuries.
Sturridge underwent scans on Wednesday after pulling out of a training session earlier this week with a thigh problem. While the injury is not a recurrence of the one he sustained on international duty with England in early September, Press Association Sport understands it could keep him out for up to six weeks.
Since joining the club in January 2013 the striker has played in 52 of the 82 matches.
Writing in The Times, Liverpool correspondent Tony Barrett explains:
“Liverpool’s worst fears over the fitness of Daniel Sturridge have been realised after it was confirmed that the forward has suffered a fresh thigh injury, leaving him facing a battle to play again this year.”
It’s another huge blow to Liverpool, who have scored just eight goals and gained only eight points in the eight Premier League games Sturridge has already missed this season.
If indeed Sturridge misses the rest of 2014, he will have missed another 11 games, adding to the 14 he’s already missed this season in all competitions.
A Liverpool FC statement on Wednesday reads:
Liverpool Football Club today confirmed scans have revealed Daniel Sturridge has sustained a new thigh injury.
The player will remain unavailable for selection but will be monitored and assessed during his recovery.
With what you would describe as ‘winnable’ fixtures against Crystal Palace, Stoke City, Leicester City and Sunderland up next, Brendan Rodgers would have been hoping Sturridge’s return could help turn around The Reds’ poor form. Instead, things look pretty bleak.
Sturridge’s injury leaves Rodgers with the trio of Mario Balotelli, Fabio Borini and Rickie Lambert as his forward options – who have failed to score a Premier League goal between them so far this season.
The latest injury further calls into question Liverpool’s risky transfer strategy of this summer, which seems to have been reliant upon the injury prone forward remaining fit.