27 Oct 2015

Liverpool Misery: Klopp confirms £18m star is 'not available' tomorrow. Coutinho to suffer again?

The Daniel Sturridge injury mystery deepens. After initially insisting that his injury is 'not too bad', Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has (indirectly) revealed today that the issue a more serious originally stated.

When asked about Sturridge during his pre-Bournemouth press conference, Klopp confirmed that he is 'not available for tomorrow', and further added:

"Nothing really new. He [Sturridge] is not in training. I saw him five minutes ago working in the gym but it’s not to think it's normal football training so we will have to wait".

If 'brilliant' Sturridge is not even in training yet, then it's probably going to be another few weeks before he's capable of returning to first-team action.

Clearly, his current knee issue is a lot more serious than just 'a little bit of swelling', which is how Klopp described in on October 17th.

Since arriving at Liverpool in January 2013, Sturridge has suffered ELEVEN separate injuries:

* OCT 2015: Knee

* APR 2015: Hip

* NOV 2014: Hamstring

* SEP 2014: Thigh

* AUG 2014: Hamstring

* APR 2014: Hamstring

* NOV 2013: Ankle Ligaments

* SEP 2013: Hip/Thigh Injury

* MAY 2013: Ankle Ligaments

* FEB 2013: Hamstring

* FEB 2013: Hip/Thigh Injury

Prior to his arrival, Daniel Agger had the worst LFC injury history in modern times:

* 665 days on the sidelines (113 games missed)

* 25% of total time at the club spent injured.

* On average: Missed 13 games every season.

Now, Sturridge has taken on the mantle, and is officially the most injured player in Liverpool history:

* 447 days on the sidelines (the equivalent of 15 months), and missed 75 games along the way.

* 51% of his time at Anfield on the injury list (assuming 2x10 month seasons; 5 months in 2012-13, and 3 months this season)

* On average: misses 25 games every season.

With this kind of injury history, it's doubtful that Sturridge will ever be able to retain full-fitness for an extended period of time, and it won't surprise me in the slightest to see him forced into early retirement at some stage.

Give Sturridge's quality, the team obviously suffers in his absence, but the impact on Philippe Coutinho's effectiveness is particularly acute.

Coutinho has an excellent partnership with Sturridge, and when he's out, there are very few players in the team who operate on the Brazilian's wavelength. Indeed, 45% of Coutinho's total Liverpool assists are goals created for Sturridge, which tells its own story.

Can Coutinho form a similarly effective partnership with Benteke, or Origi? Time will tell.

Author: Jaimie K


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