Daniel Sturridge made a bold step to join Perth Glory in the Australian A-League in October, but it is safe to say his time Down Under has not gone to plan so far.
Having left Liverpool two years previous, and having his time with Trabzonspor ended unceremoniously after a four-month ban for a betting rule breach, Sturridge headed to Australia late last year.
The veteran striker, still only 32, agreed a one-year deal with the A-League outfit, in what was widely considered a coup for Perth Glory after finishing ninth out of 12 clubs in 2020/21.
Arriving in Western Australia during an ongoing pandemic, Sturridge was required to quarantine for two weeks before joining his new team-mates for training.
And though he had built up his fitness over a trial period with Real Mallorca over the summer, it was accepted that the Englishman would need time to adjust to the change of scenery and demands of life in the A-League.
But it is safe to say that Perth Glory could have expected more in the first three months of the season, with Sturridge pulling up with injury in only his fifth outing on Wednesday.
“I keep trying to bring him back and he keeps breaking down,” manager Richard Garcia said after the 1-0 loss to Macarthur, as relayed by the Guardian.
Garcia claimed Sturridge’s issue – a groin injury sustained just 20 minutes after coming on for the second half – was likely due to a rushed warmup at half-time.
It is not his first fitness problem while in Australia, but more frustrating for the player will be that he has also been required to isolate two more times already this season due to COVID-19.
Firstly, in December, he was forced to quarantine for two weeks having come into close contact with a positive case, while Sturridge himself contracted the virus in January.
? 30 Sep: Daniel Sturridge signs for Perth Glory
? 27 Oct: Arrives in Perth – but hotel quarantine for 2 weeks
? 20 Nov: 5 minute debut
? 16 Dec: 2 weeks iso (close contact)
? 24 Jan: Catches Covid in Sydney
? 23 Feb: Groin injury, off after 18 minutes
Nightmare ? pic.twitter.com/uPqDOeQqbg
— The Glory Post (@TheGloryPost) February 23, 2022
In total, Liverpool’s old No. 15 has made just five appearances for Perth Glory, all as a substitute, amounting to just 93 minutes on the pitch; he has sat out of a further five games.
He is yet to score his first goal for the club, though that is understandable given his lack of rhythm and time on the pitch, along with his new surroundings.
“He’s disappointed. We’ve got to take a look at it. Hopefully, it’s not as bad as it felt,” Garcia, whose side has experienced a disjointed season due to fixture postponements, added.
“He’s a pretty strong guy. He’s had these injuries before. It’s just about him coming back from it.”
Sturridge has seen his family join him in Australia after initially moving to Perth alone, and the hope will be that he can put his injuries behind him in the near future and recapture his form with Glory.