Jurgen Klopp has said that Liverpool must be “patient” with Daniel Sturridge – despite it not being the German’s “best skill”.
Sturridge is currently sidelined with his third injury of the season, having struggled with knocks to his hip, knee and hamstring.
The England international has suffered eight separate injuries since joining Liverpool in January 2013, and has been ruled out for 25 games this season alone.
Some have called for manager Klopp to cut his losses on Sturridge, who has scored four goals in six games this campaign, but the German is insistent that the club must wait for him to regain full fitness.
“What do we have to make a decision about? I have two-and-a-half years left on my contract and have been here three or four months. That’s not a problem,” Klopp said. “I had 15 months with Ilkay Gündogan [at Borussia Dortmund] where we had to all wait but it was his back and we had no chance to force it. It’s not a back problem with Daniel but it’s the muscle.
“Out of responsibility, we have to do everything we can to give him the physical strength to be able to play Premier League football. We all know it’s pretty easy for him when he’s fit but at this moment he isn’t. We cannot change this and I am not thinking about making a general decision [about him] at the moment. To have a player like Daniel in your squad is always a good situation and when it’s not possible to use him it’s not a good situation.
“He’s not with the team at the moment but we have enough games this season when we hopefully can use him but not, if nothing happens, for at least the next 10 days.
“You can’t be nearly fit, then playing, then injured again, then nearly fit, then playing, then injured again, then during training something like injured again, and then you say after five days: ‘Come on!’ to pick the day you get him and then he gets the next injury. We have to be patient. That’s not my best skill but in this case I have no other choice.”