Remember the days when Fernando Torres would go off with the Spanish national team healthy as a horse and then return to Merseyside carrying a horribly debilitating injury? Well, we sent England boss Roy Hodgson an already injured Daniel Sturridge and instead of using him sparingly – or leaving him out completely — for what can only be described as a meaningless friendly with Germany, the Three Lions boss thought it prudent to play him for the full ninety minutes and sent him back to Liverpool even more crocked than he was before.
If missing Jose Enrique for the first Merseyside Derby of the season wasn’t bad enough, Brendan Rodgers revealed in his pre-Everton press conference that Sturridge, unsurprisingly, is going to be a doubt for the weekend. Couple that with Luis Suarez having to travel from Montevideo, Uruguay after helping La Celeste qualify for the World Cup and we’ve got problems. Big, big problems.
Maybe they’re not as bad as actually being Everton, but the Reds have been left in a worse position post-international break then they were going into it; and the knock Sturridge is carrying – whatever it may be this time – only compounds the usual derby day worries. “He’s been playing through dead leg for about three to four weeks” said Rodgers when asked about the striker’s fitness. “He hardly trained when he left, after the Fulham game. We’ll assess him.”
Liverpool go into the weekend in second place – two points behind leaders Arsenal — with Everton in hot pursuit four places below, but only three points behind, their cross-town rivals. Sturridge has played a massive role in the Reds good start to the season having found the net eight times in eleven matches and his absence could be a key factor in the outcome. “He’s back recovering with the other international players and we’ll see how it is over the next few days” said Rodgers, though with arguably our biggest match of the season looming, those words aren’t the kind of words want to hear.