Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has admitted that both James Milner and Daniel Sturridge could miss the Reds’ Premier League opener against Arsenal on Sunday, having both picked up injuries in pre-season.
Sturridge, 26, suffered a hip injury playing against Barcelona in the International Champions Cup, and although he returned to training on Wednesday, it’s unlikely that Klopp will take a risk so early in the season.
Speaking to Liverpool’s official website about Sturridge’s injury, Klopp said: “On Wednesday he [Sturridge] could train. On Thursday, he felt [it] a little bit so we will have to see.
“Of course, he had a few days where he couldn’t train and that’s not too good for the Arsenal game, but we have other players who are available and that’s good for us. Hopefully it stays like this and we can give Daniel enough time so that when he is fit again, he can then become match fit in the next few days. There are a lot of games to play.
“It is nothing serious with him, but it was enough to get him out of training and so now we have to see. It’s how I always say, we have to think about the players that are available at the moment and all the other guys have to work as hard as possible to become fit again.”
James Milner was another player to limp off in the International Champions Cup tie against Barcelona at Wembley, picking up a heel injury in the first-half.
Klopp admitted that while Milner only suffered a bruised heel, it was a ‘very painful’ injury, and that the England international will not be rushed back to first-team football.
“With Millie we have to wait. It’s better than we all expected after the [Barcelona] game when we saw him walking out of the stadium on crutches – that’s not the best picture you want to see after a game.” The German added.
“On Sunday he felt better, on Monday he felt better. It’s a bruise in the heel, so that’s really painful and I can say that when it is too painful for Millie, then it’s really painful.
“[We will take] no risk at the moment, we have to wait until everybody says we can go on and that’s what we’ll do.”