Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has confirmed that Daniel Sturridge will miss the Capital One Cup semi-final at Stoke City on Tuesday (5 January 2016) as the striker will not return to action until he has completed a number of consecutive training sessions with the rest of the team. The boss, meanwhile, also refused to provide a deadline in the comeback of Jordan Henderson after the captain already missed the defeat against West Ham.
Having being plagued by recurrent injuries since the start of last season, Sturridge has made only six appearances this campaign, with his latest coming on 6 December during a 2-0 defeat by Newcastle. The England international declared himself "good to go" after the Boxing Day against Leicester City, but eventually missed the next two games against Sunderland and West Ham.
Klopp has now ruled out him also for the trip to Stoke as the manager wants him to train regularly with the rest of the squad to avoid another setback.
"Maybe you have the feeling that we trained now for three weeks with Daniel and say every day, 'More, more, more, more,' and every day he's fitter and fitter, and in the end I say, 'No, I wait.' It's not like this. Daniel had some problems in these weeks, not serious, but then he could not make the next session and we had to wait a day or something like this," he said. "[It's] how a pre-season can be. It's a pre-season without games so it should not happen too much but some little things happened, we always have to handle this.
"It's not a row of sessions and now we are here. I'm the first who will pick him when he's available, when he's ready for this – I will never hold him back.
"In this moment, because he didn't have one session with the team, which was the usual plan for this week, he's not available. What we are trying to do now is to fill his body with energy and strength and everything. That's what we have to do.
"It would be easy for me to say, 'Come on, let's try, we have problems, we don't score enough goals, bring him and let's see what happens', but that's where we have to be patient. We have to wait."
Henderson, meanwhile, also missed the latest setback against West Ham after the captain limped off against Sunderland during a 1-0 win against his former side due to a heel problem.
Klopp said: "We don't really know because we have to wait each day, each hour, each minute. The thing that happened with the tendon in the foot, it's good. It's painful but it's good. We hope that when the blood is out of the foot then the situation is solved, but in this moment there is blood around the heel so it's not possible to train or to play.
"We hope it's not serious and we don't have to wait because we cannot do more. He's having treatment and, everything we can do to bring the blood out of the foot, we are doing. But we cannot rush more, it's time we need."
The German manager, meanwhile, has admitted that, despite the number of games in recent weeks, he doesn't expect to make major changes in his line-up for the trip to Stoke due to the number of injuries in his squad.
"We don't have that much opportunity [for changes]. It's not that we have six, seven, eight players to change in this moment, we have always all the squad with us," he said. We first of all have to react to the impact the last game had on the players then we have to decide. At the end, it's always that we go to this game and want to win and for this we make the squad.
"I cannot ignore the situation in the team after this number of games so we have to wait a little bit and use each hour. The session today is not a real season, it's only two days after the game. So, for sure, it's not possible to make an intensive training.
"I have to talk to Andy [Massey], the doctor, to Chris [Morgan], our head of physiotherapy, and we have to make decisions together."