The 2014-15 season was anything but kind to Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge.
The 25-year-old featured in just 12 games this season, a year after scoring 21 league goals, and saw his season officially cut short after undergoing hip surgery on Tuesday.
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Liverpool have since been informed that Sturridge will miss a minimum of four months before returning to full training, which means he will almost certainly miss the first month and a half of next season. If Sturridge’s personal preseason begins in September, he’s unlikely to return to first-team action until October.
With the 2016 UEFA European Championship taking place next summer, the 2015-16 Premier League season begins a week earlier than ever before, Aug. 8, in order to allow the league’s top European players an extra week of rest and preparation ahead of the next year’s tournament in France. Because of this, Sturridge will likely miss an extra game or two to start Liverpool’s season.
On the plus side, the hip problem is believed to be closely related to a series of leg injuries that, when put together, cost Sturridge the majority of his 2014-15 season, according to Liverpool’s medical team. With any luck, the hip operation will have a domino effect and clear up a number of other issues holding back the Reds’ top striker.
With the long-term futures of Mario Balotelli and Rickie Lambert, Liverpool’s other two first-team strikers, very much up in the air as the summer approaches, manager Brendan Rodgers may just feel the need to sign another established striker during the upcoming transfer window.