Brendan Rodgers has confirmed the speculation that Liverpool goal machine Daniel Sturridge will be sidelined until at least September after undergoing surgery on a hip injury.
The England international was exceptional in 2013/14, scoring 21 Premier League goals and assisting seven more, but a string of set backs this time around have seen him spend much more time in the sick bay than on the pitch.
Sturridge has started just seven top-tier games this season, netting four and providing one in this short space of time.
His continued absence has been frequently cited as mitigation for the Reds’ failure to live up to the standards set in the previous campaign and not having the former Chelsea star fit for the start of next term is sure to hamper their hopes of success once again.
Breakdowns in rehab have been a chief factor behind the 25-year-old’s elongated period on the periphery and a recurrence of these could make the 6/1 saying he won’t play again in 2015 an excellent price indeed.
Sturridge starred in each of the club’s opening three matches of the season, scoring the winner at home to Southampton and looked lively in a 3-0 decimation of Tottenham at White Hart Lane.
After this victory some apparent England carelessness caused him to tear a muscle in his thigh on international duty, with the initial prognosis saying he would miss six matches.
This September forecast proved massively inaccurate, with Sturridge not seen again in a Liverpool shirt until January 31st.
His stint on the sidelines was prolonged by a calf injury he picked up when recovering from the thigh ailment, which the striker sought to recover from by spending the festive period in the United States.
Just nine starts were mustered by the Birmingham native upon receiving a clean bill of health before his hip started playing up to prevent him from partaking between now and the end of the season.
Surgical measures have been undertaken to rectify the issue, but if they prove as effective as the special recovery procedures Sturridge was put through in America, he is by no means guaranteed to be rid his fitness gripes.