First published: 27th November, 2015, 1:15 PM
By North-west correspondent Alex Stevens
Jurgen Klopp has hinted at his dissatisfaction with Daniel Sturridge by urging the injury-prone striker to learn how to deal with pain.
Sturridge had been on the verge of returning to the Liverpool team for Thursday night’s Europa League clash against Bordeaux – which they won 2-1 – but pulled out in the afternoon with a minor foot injury.
It is the latest in lengthy series of injuries for the striker and Klopp made it clear that the England international must learn to play through the pain barrier.
“You have to learn to understand what is serious pain and what is only pain,” said Klopp, speaking at his media briefing on Friday afternoon. “[Sturridge’s injury] is not that serious but he couldn’t go on as before. It’s completely normal after a long injury. Now we have to stay patient, I’m sorry to say.
“He was very often injured in last years. Your body has to learn to adapt to new intensities of training.”
Klopp suggested that Sturridge could be involved in Liverpool’s Premier League match against Swansea on Sunday at Anfield, with Philippe Coutinho (hamstring) and long-term absentee Jordan Henderson (foot) both in contention to return.
But it is the willingness of Sturridge to put his body on the line that is a growing concern for manager and club.
Sturridge has yet to play for Klopp after he injured his knee in a collision with Jordan Ibe on the eve of the new manager’s first game at Tottenham last month.
The 26-year-old has played just 242 minutes across three matches this season after recovering from hip surgery which ruled him out of the final six weeks of the previous campaign.
Liverpool supporters have hardly seen Sturridge play in the last 12 months due to a succession of ailments from a torn thigh muscle to hip surgery.