Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has heaped praise on Daniel Sturridge ahead of a potential starting return this weekend.
The England international forward came off the bench last weekend on return from injury, and got himself on the scoresheet in a 5-3 win over Stoke.
And, his manager has paid tribute to his conditioning, insisting the 24-year-old is ‘blessed genetically’ – an attribute which goes well alongside his work-rate in training and on the pitch.
“He's a boy that is blessed genetically with this wonderful gift of being able to recover - but it's also a mark of his professionalism as well,” Rodgers told the official Liverpool website.
"When you've been out for so long, like he was in pre-season, to come back and play as quickly as he did showed how hard he was working in the off-season. And likewise now after the period out.
"He looks after his body, his body fat, his weight and that natural fitness he has, alongside his work, allows him to come back and make the impact he made last week. He's again looked very, very good in training, very sharp, and he'll be at a good level come the weekend."
Liverpool face Aston Villa at Anfield this weekend, and Sturridge is in contention to start alongside teammate Luis Suarez.
The Uruguayan has been in scintillating form on Merseyside, replacing the goals that Sturridge had been scoring on return from his own spell on the sidelines through suspension.
But, with Sturridge back in the fold, Rodgers is happy to admit that the youngster could start if required.
"His qualities and fitness, aligned with what I've seen in training, I think show that if we needed him to start, he would be able to,” he added.
Before his injury, Sturridge last featured for Liverpool in the Merseyside derby draw against Everton, scoring in a 3-3 draw.
A subsequent ankle problem has kept him out of the side until the trip to the Potteries, and now it seems he’s raring to go for the Reds this weekend.
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