Daniel Sturridge is an injury doubt for Liverpool's game against Crystal Palace on Sunday (23 April) after sitting out of several training sessions owing to discomfort. He joins a long list of six players who are sidelined for the game including Jordon Henderson, Adam Lallana and Sadio Mane, while the likes of Joel Matip, Ragnar Klavan and Lucas Leiva are struggling to prove their fitness.
The Liverpool Echo reports that Sturridge would be the eighth player currently unavailable for Jurgen Klopp's team, a massive blow as they look to close the gap on a top-four finish. The Reds are currently third with 66 points, six clear of Manchester United, having played two games more.
Henderson and Lallana are expected to be back in the next few days, while Mane is out for the rest of the season following a knee injury. Sturridge's loss would be a major blow to Klopp, who needs his senior players to step up and prove their worth in the absence of their main strikers through injury.
Sturridge has been suffering from a hip problem for a major part of the season and has not started a single game since the EFL Cup semi-final against Southampton at Anfield in January. He came off the bench against Stoke City and West Bromwich Albion in the last two games for a combined 30 minutes on the pitch, but has made only nine starts for the Reds in the entirety of this season.
Meanwhile, club legend St John has urged Divock Origi to step up and become a consistent name in the team-sheet. Chances have been hard to come by for the Belgian this season owing to the form of the front three - Philippe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane - but injuries mean that he has the opportunity to come into the side and prove his worth to the manager.
"He will develop through his training and the coaching at the club, the advice he is getting from the manager downwards, and you can see confidence coming in the lad. If everybody is fit he might not be in the team and be first pick, but when there's injuries it's great to have him to come on," St John told Liverpool's official website.
"One of these days he is going to be the guy who is going to oust them and be the No 1 man in the team. He's a very interesting player and I think he will become a fan favourite."