Football: Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge suffers new injury blow

Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge (above) may not return until the new year after it was announced Wednesday that the England forward had suffered a fresh thigh injury. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge (above) may not return until the new year after it was announced Wednesday that the England forward had suffered a fresh thigh injury. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (AFP) - Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge may not return until the new year after it was announced Wednesday that the England forward had suffered a fresh thigh injury.

The 24-year-old has not played for the Merseyside club since Aug 31 after sustaining an initial thigh strain while on England duty.

That was followed by a calf problem he picked up while undergoing his first training session back at Liverpool.

He returned, again, to training last week, saying it had been "class".

But a brief statement issued on Wednesday said: "Liverpool Football Club today confirmed scans have revealed Daniel Sturridge has sustained a new thigh injury.

"The player will remain unavailable for selection but will be monitored and assessed during his recovery."

Liverpool have won just five games - two of those in the League Cup - and lost seven while Sturridge has been out of action.

Their Premier League record for the same period has featured five defeats and eight goals in seven matches, with pre-season signings Mario Balotelli and Rickie Lambert failing to fill the gap left by the likes of Sturridge and Luis Suarez, who joined Barcelona before the start of the current campaign.

Indeed Balotelli, Lambert and fellow striker Fabio Borini have yet to score a Premier League goal between them this term.

Liverpool, last season's runners-up behind champions Manchester City, are currently 11th in the Premier League table and a huge 15 points adrift of leaders Chelsea.

They are though just four points off a place in next season's Champions League, with a top-four finish their immediate priority given they only regained their place among Europe's elite last season.