Liverpool fans take a deep breath. Relax. Chill.
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If you are a fan of the Reds I hope you just lost the plot. But seriously, this is a big deal.
Sturridge, 26, has been riddled by injuries and has yet to play for new manager Jurgen Klopp after injuring his knee in training just a few days before Klopp’s first game in charge on Oct. 17.
Speaking at a club merchandise event on Wednesday, Sturridge revealed that he is ready to go after returning to full training this week.
“I’m fit and ready to go and it’s going to be a great time for me,” Sturridge said. “It’s been great under the new manager. I’ve been back training for the past couple of days and I was training when he first arrived. It’s an exciting time to be at the club and I’m enjoying working with him and the style of football. It’s important for us to understand what he wants us to do.”
Klopp has had terrible luck with injuries to attacking players since he took over last month. Sturridge went down in his first few days of training with a knee injury, Danny Ings ruptured his ACL and the duo of Christian Benteke and Roberto Firmino have been carefully nursed back to full fitness.
Later on Thursday Klopp revealed that he hasn’t decided how he will use Sturridge this weekend.
“Sturridge is as fit as he can be after this break. He has trained with us. He is not 100 percent,” Klopp said. “His qualities are outstanding. I will decide this tomorrow. He has been out for 5 weeks and hasn’t trained much.”
If Sturridge, who has scored 42 goals in 69 games for Liverpool, does return this Saturday it will provide Klopp and the Reds with a huge boost. However, with just 242 minutes of action under his belt in three games (which yielded two goals against Aston Villa) at the end of September and start of October so far this season, Sturridge will likely start on the bench if he’s selected in the 18-man squad.
Still, that would represent a huge step forward for a player who spent the majority of the last 12 months on the sidelines with various hip and thigh ailments.
Many will still question Sturridge’s long-term fitness — I mean look at the stat above, good lord — but one thing is for certain: when he’s fully fit he’s one of the best strikers in the Premier League. Period.