"SAS" will become just "S" for the next to six to eight weeks after Daniel Sturridge strained ligaments in his ankle, per BBC Sport.
Sturridge and his fellow forward, Luis Suarez, have been the Premier League’s most fruitful strike force this season—bagging 18 of Liverpool’s 25 goals—and the Englishman’s injury is a big blow to the Reds' Champions League hopes.
11 - Daniel Sturridge has scored nine goals & assisted two more in 12 Premier League appearances for Liverpool this season. Crocked?— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) November 29, 2013
The uphill task that lies ahead for Liverpool was evident in their 3-1 loss to Hull City at the weekend. With Sturridge out and Philippe Coutinho short of full fitness on the bench, the Reds' disappointing performance was reminiscent of the kind they were producing at the beginning of last season.
They lacked creativity in the middle of the park and a finishing touch up top. With Suarez shouldering the burden in front of goal, the Uruguayan appeared to be trying to do too much at times, which ultimately resulted in him not doing enough.
The way Suarez commits himself to every game is admirable, but each match for him is like running a marathon. Over the busy festive period the heavy workload is likely to take its toll.
So it’s no surprise that the performance at the KC Stadium led Brendan Rodgers to publicly declare that he is in the market for a new frontman in January.
The Northern Irishman said—per Jamie Sanderson in the Metro:
It was always going to be the case that if we had a few injuries to key players, that leaves us light. It’s no different to a lot of squads, but for us it's even more prominent because Daniel Sturridge is not playing and he's a good player.
I think every window for us will be exactly the same—if there's a player we think can improve our squad and in particular the team, I'm sure we will be able to go out and get that player.
Liverpool sat 11th in the Premier League 13 games into the 2012/13 season. They had scored 17 goals, which was the 11th best return in the league, and they had conceded 16 times—per the Premier League.
At the same stage this season, the Anfield outfit sit fourth. They have let in 16 goals once more, but they have found the net 25 times, which is the third-best haul in the top tier. That is all down to the partnership between Sturridge and Suarez.
Their defensive performances haven't fluctuated since Rodgers took over, but they have greatly improved in the attacking third, and that has helped them reverse their fortunes in 2013.
The Reds don't possess a midfielder that will rack up double digits in a season, particularly now with Steven Gerrard pulling the strings from a little deeper on the pitch. The skipper is the club's next highest scorer in the league with three, and no one else has managed more than one goal.
That makes Liverpool massively dependent on the form of their front men.
With Sturridge injured, their strength is weakened. Rodgers will be frantically searching for someone to plug the hole until his return.