Daniel Sturridge makes surprise return to Liverpool training as hip injury improves

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Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge has cast doubt over claims he could miss the rest of the season, after taking part in light training on Wednesday.

The 27-year-old was rumoured to be facing a lengthy spell on the sidelines after suffering a recurrence of a hip injury, which could have ended his season.

But with the Reds preparing to take on Watford on Monday night, Sturridge was pictured in training at Melwood on Wednesday.

He was not part of team training, however, instead jogging around the pitch as he builds up his fitness with an eye to returning between now and the closing clash with Middlesbrough on May 21.

According to the Liverpool Echo, Sturridge is not expected to join Jurgen Klopp‘s squad for the trip to Vicarage Road.

Two players who will do, though, despite not being pictured in training, are Adam Lallana and Roberto Firmino, who are undergoing individual training programmes.

Lucas Leiva, Joel Matip and Ragnar Klavan, who were all carrying knocks last week, took part on a sunny afternoon in West Derby, with Liverpool’s defensive ranks bolstered.

Klopp could be seen in lengthy discussions with 19-year-old centre-back Joe Gomez, while fellow teenager Sheyi Ojo took part after a spell out with injury.

BIRKENHEAD, ENGLAND - Saturday, December 17, 2016: Liverpool's Rhian Brewster in action against Crystal Palace during the FA Youth Cup 3rd Round match at Prenton Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool U23s striker Rhian Brewster was again involved, after being named on the substitutes’ bench for Sunday’s 2-1 loss at home to Crystal Palace.

The 17-year-old could be part of Klopp’s squad in Hertfordshire, with Sturridge still far from full fitness, though the German will hope for more experienced options.

There was no sign of midfielder Ovie Ejaria, who made his return to the field in the U23s’ 3-2 win at home to Man City on Monday night, after three months out with an ankle problem.

Kamil Grabara, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Connor Randall, Marko Grujic and Ben Woodburn all played in that victory at Prenton Park, but were back for first-team duties on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, long-term absentees Adam Bogdan and Danny Ings are stepping up their recovery from respective knee injuries.

Hungary goalkeeper Bogdan saw his season-long loan spell with Wigan Athletic end prematurely after rupturing his ACL, but has since begun individual training sessions.

Ings is continuing his rehabilitation in the gym at Melwood, with Lallana commending his dedication in a post on Instagram.

Liverpool have four games left to play between now and the end of the season, with a top-four finish still very much in sight.

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