Daniel Sturridge has been told by the Liverpool medical staff to suck it up and play through the pain barrier in their crucial Premier League clash against top four rivals Arsenal on Saturday.
A slight tear in a hip flexor was gained during the disappointing defeat to Manchester United just over a week ago and was expected to keep him out for a month after it forced him to withdraw from the England squad to face Lithuania and Italy.
However, the Daily Mirror are reporting that the Anfield club's medics now think he will be able to make the trip to Emirates Stadium and should be good to go, as long as he can grit his teeth to lay through the pain barrier.
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Brendan Rodgers is hoping Sturridge will agree to play, as it is arguable that the Reds' Champions League prospects for next season are reliant on what happens against Arsene Wenger's team.
Defeat to Manchester United meant Liverpool fell six points behind the Gunners, so defeat at the Emirates will mean a nine-point gap between them. With only seven matches remaining after Saturday's clash, that could well be a fatal blow.
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The report claims that Sturridge usually has to be feeling 100 per cent fit to perform at his best, but Rodgers is hoping his most potent striker will agreed to playing with pain, thought it is accepted that the final decision would be made by the 25-year-old.
Take The Risk
Missing Sturridge would be a big blow to Liverpool, as they are already without two key players in Steven Gerrard and Martin Skrtel. The club captain saw red only 38 seconds after coming on at half time against Manchester United for a stamp on Ander Herrera, while Skrtel got done retrospectively for a stamp on David de Gea.
Added to this, Adam Lallana was also forced to pull out of England duty with an injury picked up in the 2-1 defeat to their rivals, so risking Sturridge feels like a necessary step at this stage.
With so much at stake and Arsenal in very good form for the past few months, Rodgers' needs all of his best players available where possible, even if not fully fit - it's not like Mario Balotelli has proven to be an adequate replacement.
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