Daniel Sturridge
Daniel Sturridge has been out since August with separate thigh injuriesGetty Images

Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge is set for a first-team return in January having not played since August due to separate thigh injuries.

Sturridge limped out of England training earlier this season with the initial problem but after recovering, he suffered a recurrence of the blow during Reds training in November.

The 25 year old has been sent to the United States to undergo rehabilitation on the injury and manager Brendan Rodgers says the Liverpool forward could return in the early weeks of the new year.

"That [Sturridge's return] will probably be just after the Christmas period," he said. "The first phase of his rehab was out in LA where we did some specific work with him there.

"He's gone to Boston to pick up the next stage, then he'll move on again to a specialist facility out there and hopefully in the early part of the new year he'll be back and be somewhere close to being fit and playing.

"At some stage in January, we'll look to get Dan back. That will be really exciting for this team. We'll put him into the mix again and go back to that flow of our game and results, hopefully."

Amid a hectic January schedule for Liverpool, the club face Leicester City, Sunderland, Aston Villa and West Ham United in the Premier League, AFC Wimbledon in the FA Cup third round and Chelsea in the two-legged League Cup semi-final.

The loss of Sturridge has been accentuated by the form of Rickie Lambert, Mario Balotelli and Fabio Borini this season, with the trio having scored just one league goal between them this term.

Despite refraining from fielding a recognised striker against Arsenal, Philippe Coutinho and Martin Skrtel's goals helped Liverpool salvage a 2-2 draw and Rodgers says his side can improve further upon Sturridge's return.

"You saw today that the most important thing was the confidence and ability in the team returning," he said. "Align that with the pressure and intensity they bring to the game.

"You bring Sturridge back into that, hopefully in the new year, in January, and then you get back to being the team that we have been in the last few years. There's work to do but at least we're moving in the right direction again - which is what we want."

Skrtel struck in the seventh minute of injury time to grab a deserved point for Liverpool, who jumped above Merseyside rivals Everton and into the top half of the league table, despite suffering a nasty head injury after an accidental stamp by Olivier Giroud.

"It's alright now," Skrtel said. "It was quite sore straight after the accident, but that's part of football. I'm just glad I could carry on and be part of the game.

"I'm happy about the goal because it helped the team to get a point. But we're disappointed because after the performance we showed - we were dominating - we deserved more than we got."