Jurgen Klopp has conceded it may be a while before Daniel Sturridge plays for Liverpool again.
The England international has not played for the Reds since Klopp took the reigns after injuring his knee in a collision with Jordon Ibe.
And the German boss has conceded that Sturridge is still some way off a return to action and does not know exactly when he will return, having only just started training outside for the first time in four weeks.
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As per FourFourTwo, the former Borussia Dortmund boss said: "I think he will return soon. But soon is relative. I don't know when he will be back. It isn't as fast as we thought, of course, but we cannot put pressure on this.
"He is starting to train outside after four weeks, so, of course, he needs time to bring him back in shape or whatever.
"He can start training and then we can talk about when Sturridge can play, but it's nearly like a summer break and he's really training hard after this. We have to see when we can talk about him."
Sturridge will not play for Liverpool, who are still unbeaten under Klopp, when they face Crystal Palace on Sunday afternoon.
The return to fitness of Christian Benteke is a huge boost for the Merseyside club. Without the Belgian, their striking options were extremely limited.
The former Aston Villa forward was on target in the Reds' 3-1 win over Chelsea and a lot of the goalscoring responsibility will now fall on his shoulders.
With Danny Ings out for the season and Sturridge continuing to struggle with injuries, Klopp was forced to start Roberto Firmino up front at Stamford Bridge and may be inclined to sign a striker in January.
When fit, Sturridge is one of the most lethal strikers in the Premier League. However, keeping the 26-year-old off the treatment table has proven to be an impossible task in the past two years.
Do Liverpool need to sign a new striker in the January transfer window? Let us know what you think by leaving a comment below
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