Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge has played down fears over his fitness after being forced off during his side’s 3-0 defeat of Bayern Munich with a thigh problem.
The 27-year-old replaced Mohamed Salah midway through the second half and got his name on the scoresheet with a superb chip – but appeared to injure himself in the process of netting Liverpool’s third goal of the night.
Although he attempted to continue playing, manager Jurgen Klopp elected to take no risks with the forward, bringing on Dominic Solanke for the closing minutes.
Despite Klopp’s apparent worries of Sturridge’s fitness, the player was in a less pessimistic mood regarding his own condition.
“I think it’s just fatigue to be honest, so I’ll be OK,” he told Liverpool’s official club website.
“I’m feeling great. I have put in the work, I trained a lot in the summer. I’ve not missed many sessions here, they have looked after me. We’ve done triple sessions and I have trained almost every single session.
“So I’m feeling great, the best I have felt for a while. I am looking forward to the season and hopefully we can have some success.”
The moment was rather representative of the frustration Sturridge has experienced over the past three seasons with injuries, having been restricted to just 46 Premier League appearances from Liverpool’s last 114 league games.
It’s looking increasingly likely as if this season will be the last opportunity Klopp gives Sturridge to prove himself at Anfield and, when asked about the severity of his injury, the German replied: “I can’t say. He has prepared really well. I just hope he can play really soon.
“The goal was great and he had a chance just before that. You could see how fast he is. It’s a shame and I hope it’s nothing serious.”
Liverpool face Atletico Madrid in the final of the Audi Cup this evening without Sturridge, while Bayern Munich will play host to Napoli in the 3rd-place playoff.