Although Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge is expected to be out for the next four months following hip surgery in the United States, Reds boss Brendan Rodgers is hoping that it will be time well spent with the 25-year old finally able to put his numerous ailments behind him and get back to banging in goals.
“He’s just had a horrible run of injuries this year and when you take that into consideration to what he gives us – because he got 20-plus goals last season – it’s hard to replace that,” conceded the Northern Irishman, making reference to the Reds poor form in front of the net throughout the campaign. “His operation went well. It’s obviously going to be after pre-season when we get him back but hopefully we can get him back and firing like he was last year.”
A series of muscle injuries kept the hit-man sidelined for much of the campaign before a hip injury sustained against Manchester United and then aggravated in the FA Cup quarter-final replay with Championship side Blackburn Rovers effectively ended his season. With surgery deemed the best way to fix the problem, the England man travelled to North America to go under the knife. Although the operation was deemed a success, a few lingering doubts about his fitness remain with the Anfield outfit almost certain to dip into the market for some cover this summer.
“We hope we’ve got to the bottom of it. This is an injury that has been looked at and the medics have said it’s maybe been the cause of a lot of his [injury] problems. Once he’s back on fire there are not many players who are better than Sturridge. He’s super-fast, has a great touch and balance and he’s strong,” continued the Liverpool manager. “He’s got everything to be a world-class player. As you know, though, the world-class players play every single week, contributing, that’s the make-up. It’s not just about talent or ability, it’s consistency.”