Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge is hopeful that a change of environment in the United States will help him overcome his injury problems.
The 25-year-old has made just 18 appearances in a season which has been blighted by thigh, calf and hip injuries and has flown to America to see Dr Peter Asnis, an orthopaedic surgeon connected to club owners Fenway Sports Group’s other major acquisition the Boston Red Sox, in an attempt to solve his current hip problem.
The England international spent some time in Los Angeles in early December as he rehabilitated from a thigh injury and he has revealed he enjoys spending time in the USA.
“I like America, the way of thinking is different,” he told the Times. “When you’re injured it’s important to have a different mentality. You have to channel yourself that you’re not a football player, that you could be a boxer or a tennis player or whatever it may be.
“You have to have a single-minded mentality to get back in the best shape possible. When you’re injured it’s important to have that type of mentality.
“That’s why being out here, I’m single-minded, zoning in on what I have to do and it’s great to be here.
“The physios at Liverpool are top class but it’s a change of environment that worked before and I wanted to do it again and that’s why it happened.”
Sturridge’s constant fitness problems have led some to question whether there may be a mental issue at the root of his struggles but the former Chelsea man is adamant that is not the case.
“People can think what they want to think about me but I definitely know I do not have a mental issue,” he added. “I find it funny, I take it with a pinch of salt.”
Asked at his press conference on Friday whether part of Sturridge’s problems were mental, Reds boss Brendan Rodgers said: “I’m not sure. Daniel is like every other player – he wants to play and be available.
“It is just unfortunate for him. If you look at his career he’s had little issues along the way but when we brought him here we knew we wanted to give him every chance to be one of the top goalscorers in Europe.
“We have to do everything we can to get him on the training field and into the game, hence the reason for looking into the issue.”