Brendan Rodgers is unsure if Daniel Sturridge will return to action this season as the Liverpool striker continues to recover from a hip problem.
Sturridge has endured a torrid time with injury in recent months. After thigh and calf issues respectively forced him to miss all but three of his side's Premier League fixtures between August and January, he then suffered a torn hip muscle during the defeat to Manchester United at Anfield in March.
That latest setback forced the 25-year-old to withdraw from Roy Hodgson's England squad for matches against Lithuania and Italy and although he started the FA Cup quarter-final replay against Blackburn Rovers on 8 April, he has now missed Liverpool's last three matches and Rodgers is yet to determine if the former Chelsea forward will feature again this term.
"It's been difficult, Daniel is a good lad who wants to play and work and help the team but it's been one of those seasons for him," he said in a press conference ahead of the midweek trip to Hull.
"He's been very unfortunate and we'll have to monitor day-by-day and see where he's at. When he's been fit, he's been brilliant, it's just getting him back on a consistent basis. Whether that's this season, or pre-season, has to be seen."
Sturridge's scoring touch was missed during Liverpool's disappointing goalless draw at West Brom and Rodgers, despite having praised the performance at The Hawthorns, is all too aware of the glaring problem in his current squad and the area that will require significant attention during the upcoming summer transfer window.
"If you look at the numbers, at the same point last year, we had 90 goals," he added. "You're nearly talking about a 100% difference.
"Defensively we've been strong, despite what people write and say we had a 14th clean sheet. Top five defensively in the league. But obviously the critical area, as it was when I first came, was goalscoring – and it's something we need to improve.
"It's certainly an area we need to address come the summer. We have a top-class striker here in Daniel but he also needs help."
Having allowed Luis Suarez to leave Anfield for Barcelona in July 2014, Liverpool moved to compensate for such a sizeable loss by signing the controversial Mario Balotelli from AC Milan and boyhood Red Rickie Lambert.
Both players have struggled since arriving on Merseyside, however, and the latest transfer speculation suggests that Rodgers, who also confirmed that there has been no further update on contract talks involving the likes of Martin Skrtel and Jordon Ibe, retains a strong interest in PSV's Memphis Depay as he seeks to overhaul his misfiring forward line.