It is common knowledge amongst football fans that when your favourite player returns from a long injury layoff, he will need time to get back to the level he was at prior to it. That is not the case if your favourite player is Daniel Sturridge.
The Liverpool star has been sitting on the sidelines for much of the last two seasons, suffering several serious muscle strains in both his thigh and his calf last year. A knee problem has afflicted him for much of the current campaign and has so far prevented him from making his debut under Jurgen Klopp.
Some had tipped the 26-year-old to return in time for Saturday's game against Manchester City. He did not make it, but few Liverpool fans were left pining for him after seeing their team rampage to a 4-1 win.
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With such an excellent result, fans are wondering whether or not there is a place for Sturridge in the starting XI. Indeed, club legend Mark Lawrenson suggested Klopp should consider selling him if his injury problems do not stop.
But somewhere around Merseyside is the same striker who scored 24 goals in the 2013/14 season and, for large parts of the season, gave Luis Suarez a run for his money in the race for the golden boot.
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James Milner has spotted him. According to the midfielder, Sturridge is already firing on all cylinders at Liverpool's Melwood training ground. In fact, Milner jokingly said he was made to feel sick by how quickly his compatriot rediscovered the golden touch.
"He has been out a long time but he has looked sharp in training, with his shots and turns," the England international said, according to the Daily Mail.
"It was ridiculous, made me sick to be honest, that he could do that straight away. He can be a big player for us."
Sturridge will get the perfect chance to return to action when Bordeaux visit Anfield for a Europa League tie this Thursday. While the Ligue 1 outfit are no pushovers, it will certainly be a less daunting tie than their previous game at the Etihad.
A shock defeat would leave Liverpool sitting third in the table with just one game to play; an away trip to group leaders FC Sion. Needless to say, the game will not be without pressure but it is certainly a chance for Sturridge to ease himself back into competitive football.
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