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Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has confirmed he will not rush Daniel Sturridge back into the first-team fold until he is convinced the forward is over his injury nightmare.
The England international has been restricted to just 24 appearances for the Reds over the last 18 months, with his latest hamstring problem having kept him out of action since the 2-0 defeat to Newcastle at the start of December.
The 26-year-old revealed at the weekend that he is back in training and available to play, but his boss Klopp has now confirmed he is not prepared to take any risks.
The German said: “You ask him and he says he’s good. I know he is good, but he has to train. We cannot change the situation, he has to train now.”
Sturridge has only featured in five Premier League matches for the Anfield outfit so far this season and Klopp admits the club are desperately searching for a way to end the former Chelsea player’s injury problems.
He continued: “We really, really have to be patient now. We have to wait. We have to train. We have to give the body the right information, and if he can do this, then maybe we can change something.”
The Reds face Sunderland at the Stadium of Light on Wednesday and they are available at 1.70 to secure all three points.
The struggling Black Cats are 5.25 to win and the draw is 3.75.