Despite Daniel Sturridge missing the last five games due to injury and illness, Jurgen Klopp has no concerns about the Liverpool striker’s fitness.
Sturridge has not featured since the 7-0 win at home to Spartak Moscow on December 6, and hasn’t played in the Premier League since the 1-1 draw with Chelsea on November 25.
The striker has missed the entirety of the Reds’ congested festive run, and is seemingly not likely to return for the upcoming clashes with Leicester City and Burnley.
Though he was initially ruled out with illness, Klopp has since confirmed Sturridge is now sidelined with a muscle injury.
However, speaking to LiverpoolFC.com, the German insisted it was “not a big deal,” blaming the quick turnaround between games for Sturridge’s prolonged absence.
“I’m not 100 percent sure. Pretty much [everyone] so far came through the game,” he explained of his squad’s overall fitness.
“Daniel Sturridge was ill and now [has] a little muscle thing. It’s not a big deal, to be honest, but in this period all these things keep you away from games.
“That’s not too cool for us, of course, but since yesterday not a lot [else happened].”
Sturridge has been touted with a move away from Merseyside in the January transfer window, with West Ham among the clubs reportedly interested in a deal.
It is unlikely that any injury would impact on a transfer, though his continued spells on the sidelines could be a deterrent for potential suitors.
The 28-year-old has dropped down the pecking order under Klopp, and with Roberto Firmino in excellent form this season, scoring 16 goals and assisting eight in 27 games, his opportunities have dwindled.
Summer signing Dominic Solanke has been relied upon in an increased role as Firmino’s backup, and is likely to start against either Leicester or Burnley over the new-year period.
Solanke is yet to score a competitive goal for the Reds, but has come close to finding the back of the net in recent appearances.
The youngster has proved an able deputy to Firmino, though Klopp will be wary that if he were to sanction the departures of both Sturridge and the in-demand Danny Ings he would be left short.