Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has confirmed he is yet to assess whether Daniel Sturrigde can play the Champions League game against Basel on Wednesday night.
The 25-year-old striker picked up a thigh injury on 8 September, 2014, while on international duty and has since missed Liverpool's last five games – including the Premier League defeats to Aston Villa and West Ham United and the draw with Everton in the Merseyside derby.
Some reports last week suggested the English international was expected to return to action for the Everton game on Saturday 27 Septmeber, but Rodgers said he wasn't even close for the Meseyside derby, while his availability for Wednesday is still uncertain.
"I'll see how he is [for Basel]. He wasn't far away for Everton, but he certainly wasn't fit enough to be on the bench," the manager said, according to Liverpool official website.
"He wasn't really close for this game. We needed to see if he could train on the Friday, but I got the message on the Thursday night that he would struggle, so he wasn't really close to playing.
With Liverpool's new signing Mario Balotelli yet to score a Premier League goal and ruining a number of decent chances against Everton, Rodgers admits a Sturridge return is going to be crucial for Merseyside.
"It helps to have that pace. Especially when you are 1-0 up and the opposition has to come on to you. That pace through the middle can help then. But Daniel is obviously a top talent, whatever part of the game he comes into. And he's not far away from being back playing," Rodgers said.
"We want to score goals, but I believe that as the season goes on we will become better and better at that. I think today was a step towards what we're working for. It was an excellent performance against a very good side. We were clearly the better team.
Meanwhile, Rodgers has also expressed the much needed return of Emre Can and Joe Allen, but refused to confirm when the pair are expected to be available.
"And when we bring back the likes of Daniel, who is influential for us, Joe Allen who has never been mentioned but is a huge player for us, and Emre Can, we will get better as the season goes on."