Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is hopeful that Daniel Sturridge is finally over his injury problems. The striker is set to make a return to first-team action in the FA Cup fourth round replay against West Ham in midweek, just in time for their Capital One Cup final against Manchester City later in February.
Klopp has a flurry of players lined up for this tie, with Philippe Coutinho and Divock Origi also returning to first-team training, which the manager is hoping would help tide over their dire form over the past couple of months. Coutinho was sorely missed after the Brazilian was out for over a month with a hamstring injury while Origi was also out of action with a similar problem.
However, it is Sturridge whom the manager is most concerned about, given his injury record over the past couple of seasons. The England international has been a peripheral figure since announcing himself in the 2013/14 season, scoring more than 20 goals in the league and nearly leading the Reds to their first Premier League title in over two decades. Klopp has previously explained that they needed to be patient with Sturridge, failing which would lead to an even longer setback.
"We had to wait for Daniel, and that always sounds like a criticism, but really it is only a description of the situation. Nothing else," Klopp said, as quoted by the Mirror. "Yes, we are hoping that waiting means he is through that period. Everybody hopes this. Daniel hopes it. I hope it.
"That's absolutely normal. That's what we tried to do after the last injury. When we saw him in training, then yeah, you know why everybody is waiting for him. There are a lot of reasons," he added.