Dejan Lovren
Dejan Lovren may be ready to face Leicester City Getty Images/Laurence Griffiths

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has claimed striker Daniel Sturridge is expected to return to action "at some point in January" while centre-back Dejan Lovren may be ready to face Leicester City for the New Year's Day clash.

The English forward picked up a thigh injury at the start of September while on international duty and has since unable to play due to a couple of recurrences during training.

When he was ready to return to action earlier in October he damaged his calf during training at Melwood, followed by his third set-back in a row in November, prolonging his spell on the side-lines.

The striker is currently in Boston undergoing a special rehabilitation programme on his thigh.

But Rodgers has claimed Sturridge will return to England early in January and soon after will be available to play.

"He's coming back into the country in early January to finalise his rehab here," Rodgers said, according to Liverpool's official website.

"Hopefully at some point in January - the middle to end - he'll be available to play."

Meanwhile, Rodgers has claimed the club are going to asses Lovren's fitness before making a decision on his return to action, but hopes he will be available to play against Leicester on 1 January.

The former Southampton defender suffered a groin injury during the Capital One Cup tie with Bournemouth on 17 December and has since missed the past three matches.

But having already returned to full training he may be ready to face Leicester.

"Dejan has only been back training in the last couple of days. We'll see how he is today and then we'll take it from there," the boss said.

"If he's not [fit] for tomorrow, then definitely for the FA Cup game [against Wimbledon]. I am happy with the squad and the strength of it. It's continually improving."

Lovren's recovery would be a special boost for the manager, considering that Martin Skrtel will miss the game due to suspension after picking up his fifth booking of the season in Monday's (29 December) victory over Swansea.

"We're fine. Obviously Martin misses the game through suspension, but other players will be available," he said.

"Leicester will be a tough game for us. They had a great result at Hull, which will give them big confidence going away from home. They're very resilient and we know it'll be a tough game."