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Brendan Rodgers provides Daniel Sturridge and Mario Balotelli injury updates

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers is hopeful striker Daniel Sturridge will be fit for Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final against Aston Villa.

The England international pulled out of the Barclays Premier League clash against Newcastle on Monday after feeling the effects of a hip injury suffered against Blackburn last week.

The 25-year-old will be assessed in the coming days but Rodgers will give him every chance to prove his fitness for Wembley.

He said: “He will hopefully be okay for the weekend. I will know more in the week.

“He feels reasonably fine so we are hoping by the middle of the week we will have an indication where he is at.”

Rodgers, however, was more guarded when asked about the availability of controversial forward Mario Balotelli.

The Italian was again absent due to illness and has now not been involved for three successive games.

Rodgers said: “Mario is still ill. He was not quite fit enough (to face Newcastle). He has had on and off sickness issues.”

Rodgers did confirm that defender Mamadou Sakho would be out for “three to four weeks” with the hamstring injury sustained in the FA Cup quarter-final replay win at Ewood Park.

That means the 25-year-old Frenchman could miss Premier League encounters with West Brom, Hull and QPR as well as the Villa tie.

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