Daniel Sturridge marked his first Liverpool start for two months with a brace in the 6-1 Capital One Cup quarter-final demolition of Southampton – and manager Jurgen Klopp has hatched a plan to ensure the England international's history of injuries does not continue. Sturridge has been plagued with spells on the sideline throughout his career, but at St Mary's he helped turn the game around in just his second appearance under Klopp.
After Sadio Mane's early header had put the Saints in front, the Reds hit back with a double from Sturridge to set them on course to reach the last four. Strike partner Divock Origi scored a hat-trick and substitute Jordon Ibe also netted in a rout on the south coast, but the manner of Sturridge's return grabbed the most attention.
Having suffered significant injury setbacks during the last 12 months, including surgery on a hip problem in May, there are concerns over his fitness. Klopp says he will remain in constant talks with Sturridge regarding his well-being to ensure Liverpool are not without their main striker for sustained periods of the campaign.
"It was not too bad what Daniel Sturridge did after this long break," the Liverpool boss told Sky Sports. "Now I know what everyone is talking about because I saw him for the first time in the stadium and it was not so bad.
"I don't think this is the first time that someone talks about [his injury record]. We are together with him and we try what we can, that is the only thing that I can say. Sometimes it is bad luck, even a long period can be bad luck but in this moment he feels really good.
"He felt good during the game, he felt good after the game and he doesn't have to make all games for us. If we [Liverpool] can altogether decide when the right moment is for fighting and the right moment for recovery everything should be OK."