Liverpool forward and West Bromwich Albion loanee Daniel Sturridge has suffered a setback in his recovery from a hamstring injury and is now set to miss another month of action as the Baggies prepare for a number of crucial matches which will determine their Premier League fate.
Sturridge joined Alan Pardew's beleaguered side on loan from Liverpool in the January transfer window but has only managed 78 minutes of action since swapping Anfield for the Hawthorns in a bid to secure regular game-time ahead of this summer's World Cup.
It was thought that Sturridge, a player Liverpool were willing to sell permanently [The Daily Mail] during the January transfer window, would only miss two weeks after picking up a hamstring problem just three minutes into West Brom's defeat by Chelsea earlier this month.
But the Mirror now report that the 28-year-old will miss the next month of football, news that comes as a major blow to Pardew as he desperately seeks to achieve Premier League survival, a rather unlikely prospect given their recent plight.
Sturridge's setback means he will miss a crucial run of fixtures that West Brom will see as winnable. The Baggies are set to take on Watford, Leicester City, Bournemouth, Burnley and Swansea City in the next month, but they will have to try and accrue the points they so desperately need without the former Manchester City youth graduate, whose hopes of being included in the England squad for Russia are all-but over.
If West Brom do suffer relegation to the Championship - they are currently seven points adrift of safety with just 10 league matches remaining - they will certainly not be able to make Sturridge's loan deal from Liverpool permanent.
Jurgen Klopp's side have little need for the forward, currently earning around £120,000-a-week [Daily Mail], due to the brilliance of Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah, but it remains to be seen if another Premier League club decides to take a punt on the injury prone hitman and take on his vast wages ahead of next season. Inter Milan and Sevilla were interested in loan deals for Sturridge in January [Liverpool Echo], while Newcastle United were close to signing him before West Brom stepped in [Sky Sports].