By North-west correspondent Alex Stevens
Jurgen Klopp is ready to take a gamble on Daniel Sturridge and throw him into the fray against Manchester City on Saturday, Football Insider sources understand.
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.
But he resumed running outdoors last week and has been in full training since Tuesday, to put him in contention for Saturday’s trip to Etihad Stadium.
A Liverpool dressing-room source told Football Insider that Klopp is willing to name Sturridge in his matchday squad for the City match despite admitting the striker is “not at 100 per cent”.
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.
Speaking at his weekly media briefing on Thursday, Klopp said he was undecided as to whether to select Sturridge.
“He is as fit as he can be after a long break. Of course he is not at 100 per cent and of course we have to see,” said Klopp.
“Today was the third full exercise with the team after four-and-a-half, five weeks’ break – I’m not sure Liverpool had that long a break in the summer.
“For four-and-a-half weeks he has not trained; not cycling, running, not, not, not. But because he is that skilled a guy maybe we should…..(include him at the weekend).
“As a striker sometimes five minutes is enough and I have to decide this tomorrow. I don’t know what I will do when I build the squad, I have to think about it.
“Everyone wants to see more of him on the pitch so you have to train but we have to find the right balance.”
Football Insider revealed last week that Sturridge had resumed running outdoors and was hopeful of taking part in full contact training this week and then be in contention for the City clash.
Barring any more mishaps, there is now a strong chance of him featuring at Etihad Stadium.
Liverpool supporters have hardly seen the 26-year-old play in the last 12 months due to a succession of ailments from a torn thigh muscle to hip surgery.