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Klopp unable to put timescale on Sturridge return

By Carl Markham

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp admits he does not know when striker Daniel Sturridge will be fit to return.

The England international has not played since November 19 because of a calf problem and his manager has already ruled him out of their next two matches against West Ham, tomorrow, and Middlesbrough.

Even then, Klopp will put no timescale on when the 27-year-old will be ready to come back - a real issue considering Danny Ings has been ruled out for the rest of the season with knee ligament damage and Philippe Coutinho is out until the New Year with an ankle injury.

"I have no idea when he will be back," said Klopp. "Until now he didn't train. He wasn't 100 per cent yesterday and he will be on the pitch today but that means starting the work. He won't be with the team."

Asked what he could do about it, the German, who said Sturridge was "not happy", added: "Nothing. Wait. That is my job.

"It is not important what the name or the quality of the player is, you have to wait. Sometimes you have to wait a little longer because you decide then what we had in the past (was better) and a few days' training would be nice before we start them again.

"It is not perfect in our situation with Phil and Danny. I can't make pressure with making timelines. Hopefully he will be back as quickly as possible but at this moment I have no idea.

"He is not in training with the team at the moment so we don't have to think about him for West Ham and Middlesbrough but maybe after.

"What's the game after Middlesbrough? Everton? Oh!"

Sturridge has made just 11 appearances this season, six as substitute, and his only goals have come in the EFL Cup with two apiece against Burton and Tottenham.

His latest problem is his 22nd different injury since arriving on Merseyside in January 2013.

Sturridge made just 14 Premier League appearances last season and only 12 in the 2014-15 campaign and has never made a league start for Liverpool in the month of December.

His last Premier League start in December came for Chelsea on New Year's Eve 2011 against Aston Villa.

One player who will be in the side for the visit of West Ham will be Loris Karius, despite criticism being levelled at him for errors in the 4-3 defeat at Bournemouth last weekend.

Klopp, however, felt there was too much focus being placed on the goalkeeper he signed in the summer who has taken the place of Simon Mignolet.

"The criticism was very harsh," said Klopp. "When we analysed the game, eight players could have defended the (winning) goal before Loris was involved. He made a mistake too - even the best still make mistakes."

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