Liverpool boost as Klopp delivers fitness update ahead of West Ham clash
By Will Butcher
Jurgen Klopp has revealed that Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge will return to training on Friday.
Klopp was quoted by Liverpool’s official website on Friday afternoon as saying that Sturridge would return to training at Melwood in a major boost to the team, but was unclear on when he would make a return to action.
“He will go out today on the pitch,” Klopp said. “But that means starting the football work not with the team but only the rehab coach. I have no idea when he is back.
“That’s the life of football, you cannot force things, never. The name of the player or the quality of the player isn’t important, you have to wait as a manager until they’re back.”
The 27-year-old has missed the Reds’ last three matches as he continues his battle to overcome a calf injury, but is not expected to feature against West Ham on Sunday at Anfield.
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Sturridge, a 25-time England international, is likely to face a struggle to return to Klopp’s starting eleven when he is deemed fit enough to start again.
With an in-form attacking threesome of Roberto Firmino, Philippe Coutinho and Sadio Mane as Liverpool’s front three, game time has been few and far between for Sturridge.
Coutinho’s recent long-term injury could see Sturridge given a chance, but Divock Origi’s form could tempt Klopp into overlooking the former Manchester City striker.
Liverpool’s number 15 has predominantly watched on from the substitute’s bench this season, making just 11 league and cup appearances for the Merseyside giants.
Liverpool will be looking to keep the pressure on league leaders Chelsea come Sunday, as they sit four points adrift in third place.
Three points could see Klopp’s side move to within one point of Antonio Conte’s Chelsea, but must hope the West London outfit slip up at Stamford Bridge against West Brom.
In other Liverpool team news, this is the best possible side to face the Hammers.