Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge is working hard to be fit for the new season after he picked up an injury during the Reds' pre-season tour of the USA, missing their final two International Champions Cup games against AC Milan and Manchester United.
The striker flew home with a hamstring injury following the Anfield outfit's victory on penalties over Manchester City last week in New York, per beIN Sports:
However, Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers insisted it was merely the smallest of knocks, averting potential fears the 24-year-old may miss the start of the Premier League season, per the club's website (h/t Aaron Flanagan of the Mirror):
Dan has flown back to the UK. He wasn't going to be ready for the game on Monday - but there's no concern there, he'll be ready for Borussia Dortmund at the weekend. It was just best to get him back early, back to the training ground so he could get some treatment there. He had a really, really slight feeling in his hamstring. It's nothing major.
Having lost to United 3-1 in the final of the ICC on Monday after a largely successful tour of the U.S., the Reds now return to the UK ahead of their final pre-season match against Borussia Dortmund at Anfield on Sunday.
Rodgers will likely be eager for Sturridge to prove his fitness against the German side with their first Premier League encounter of the new season coming up on Aug. 17 against Southampton.
The England striker will be vital to Liverpool's prospects in the new term, especially considering the recent departure of Luis Suarez to Barcelona.
He bagged 21 goals in the English top-flight last season, many of them claiming vital points as the Reds finished second, per Opta:
20 - Daniel Sturridge’s goals won Liverpool 20 points in 2013/14; more than any other player for their side in the Premier League. Vital.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) August 1, 2014
However, there is more pressure than ever on Sturridge this season, as he is now the No. 1 striker. Fabio Borini and struggling new man Rickie Lambert are currently the only genuine striking alternatives:
In preseason, Liverpool have been heavily reliant on goals from midfield—Raheem Sterling performing particularly well—but this will not be enough in the Premier League and Champions League.
Thus, Rodgers needs Sturridge to be fit if the Reds are to have ambitions of claiming silverware this season, and it seems that despite his hamstring injury, he should be set to start the new campaign up front for Liverpool.