Daniel Sturridge will be on the sidelines for the rest of September. Maybe longer.
The Liverpool forward played in England’s 1-0 friendly win over Norway last Friday, but the 25-year-old striker suffered a thigh strain in training.
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Speaking in his press conference on Thursday, Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers confirmed that Sturridge could be out for up to three weeks.
Given the next month is one of the busiest of the season, with Premier League, Champions League and League Cup games coming thick and fast, Rodgers was not happy with the way England treated Sturridge while he was on international duty.
“It could be up to three weeks, which is obviously disappointing,” Rodgers said. “We’re disappointed because we feel it was an injury which could have been prevented. I think clubs work differently at times to international teams. When we look at our players here we look at them individually in terms of what their needs are.”
So, Liverpool could be without Sturridge (who scored 21 PL goals last season) for the next three weeks which would rule him out of the PL games against Aston Villa, West Ham and Everton, plus the UCL matches against Ludogorets and FC Basel and the League Cup tie vs. Middlesbrough.
With the Reds needing to win those two opening UCL matches against Ludogorets and Basel, as they face reigning European champions Real Madrid in back -to-back matches, losing Sturridge is a huge blow.
However, the pick up of Mario Balotelli is now looking like an even better buy for Brendan Rodgers as the Italian striker can lead the line in Sturridge’s absence. Not ideal for the Reds, but at least they now have ‘Super Mario’ in reserve.