Daniel Sturridge
Sturridge has missed Liverpool's last four games with a thigh problem.Getty Images/PAUL ELLIS

Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge is in contention to return from a thigh injury for the Merseyside derby against Everton, manager Brendan Rodgers has confirmed.

The 25-year-old has not played for the Reds since picking up the injury while on international duty with England, missing four games including both of the Premier League defeats to Aston Villa and West Ham United.

But Rodgers is hopeful Sturridge will recover in time for the visit of Everton, against whom he scored three times for Liverpool across both league meetings.

"We've got a number of injuries that we're just going to give every chance to," Rodgers told his pre-match press conference. "Obviously the game is 48 hours away.

"[Sturridge] is a player who is out on the field working. Daniel and a number of others we'll assess nearer the time. If he doesn't make it, then he won't be far off after that.

"He is someone that responds well to treatment and it's gone well. There's still a couple of days to go yet before the game. The most important thing is that he is nearer to fitness."

"He certainly won't be match fit - he hasn't played for a few weeks," the Liverpool boss added. "But it would be great to have him back because he's a wonderful player for us.

"He's a great reference for our team at the top of the field. His pace and movement and quality that we saw the last time he played for us, against Tottenham, was exceptional.

"We'll be very happy to have him back and we hope that can be this weekend. But we'll assess over the next couple of days."

Speculation prior to the game has surrounded the future of Raheem Sterling, who has been linked with a move to Real Madrid after a breakthrough 12 months for the England international.

After losing Luis Suarez in the summer, Rodgers is keen not to lose another of Liverpool's prized assets and has accepted the speculation regarding Sterling as a compliment.

"You could link Raheem with every club in the world at the moment," Rodgers added. "I sit easy with it."