Daniel Sturridge has to learn how to deal with different levels of pain, according to Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp.
The 26-year-old striker has played three games this season and only seven since October 2014 and hip surgery in May has limited him to 252 minutes over three games in the current campaign. He is still awaiting his first action under Klopp.
Sturridge’s latest setback was hurting his foot in training, forcing his withdrawal from the squad for Thursday’s 2-1 Europa League win over Bordeaux. Klopp said it was “not serious”, but warned his star striker he needed to adapt for his career to flourish.
“The situation is Daniel was very often injured in the last few months, and maybe years, so it is normal when you get back in training usually it is not the quality, but you need training,” said Klopp who was unsure on whether Sturridge would be fit for Sunday’s match with Swansea at Anfield.
“Your body has to learn to adapt to new intensities of training and in this time you have to learn what is serious pain and what is only pain.
“Everyone wants him back on the pitch but we all have to learn. Now we can say [his latest issue] is not that serious but it is not possible to go on as before so we have to react to every situation – which is normal for injuries.
“When Daniel comes back, usually after this long break you would train five weeks in a row and play only in friendly games.
“That would be the best, but of course we know the world is not perfect so we have to try the best and the quickest. It is a really long period so now we have to stay patient I am sorry to say: sorry for you, sorry for me, sorry for him.”
“I am waiting for him, that is what I told him. For a player like him he is always [knocking] on the door saying ‘Give me five minutes, 10 minutes’.
“I like this, but it is not always the best thing to do. He has a big step ahead of him now. Everything we do is 120 per cent so you need to be prepared for this. Players like Hendo have to be fit, not only 50 per cent.
“If he is in this shape we can use him and he can help us.”