Sturridge recovering in LA
Liverpool have sent striker Daniel Sturridge to Los Angeles to continue his rehabilitation from the thigh injury which has sidelined him for most of the season.
The 25-year-old has not played for the club since August 31 after he initially strained a thigh on international duty with England.
On the eve of his comeback he pulled a calf muscle in his first full training session back with the first team and just when he appeared to have got over that he sustained another, different, thigh injury which has ruled him out until the new year.
Reds manager Brendan Rodgers said last month that the club may have to look even deeper into the root of Sturridge's problems, of which this is the ninth separate but similar injury has had in his career, with the player suggesting the issue may be hereditary as his father, a trainee at Birmingham, and two uncles Dean and Simon - both professional footballers - also suffered the same problems.
Press Association Sport understands the striker has travelled to America to undergo warm-weather training and rehabilitation to help with his recovery for a fortnight. He has not gone to the United States to have any medical treatment or procedure.
"He has gone away to get some specific work in with some of our staff and he is coming along well," said Rodgers
Sturridge's absence has been compounded by the failure of £16million summer signing Mario Balotelli to pick up the slack having yet to score a Premier League goal.
He too came back injured from the last international break and has not been available since because of a groin problem, forcing Rodgers to pick Rickie Lambert who has responded with two goals in his first two matches leading the line and has put in good performances in the two games since then.
With Balotelli facing a possible Football Association charge for posting an apparently anti-Semetic and racist graphic on social media - for which he has until 6pm on Friday to give his explanation to the FA - the spotlight has only intensified on the troubled Italy international.
Rodgers insists, however, that until the 24-year-old is available to play he cannot waste much time thinking about him.
"He is a very much a Liverpool player but he is injured at the moment and there is not much more to add from me," he said.
"He is not fit to play, my concentration at this moment is on players who are fit and available to play and that is my only thinking at the moment.
"He is working with the medical team on a daily basis and I trust the team of people here to look after injuries.
"At this moment in time the team is doing well and whenever he is back fit then we will see where he is at.
"Hopefully he will be available sooner rather than later."
While the debate continues over Steven Gerrard's future in light of the club's contract offer, which he has not yet accepted, Rodgers has to concern himself with the more immediate issue associated with the midfielder.
Having previously admitted the 34-year-old cannot play three matches in a week, effectively the Reds boss has to decide whether to retain his captain in the starting line-up to face Sunderland on Saturday or hold him back for Tuesday's must-win Champions League tie at home to Basle, which is followed by a trip to Manchester United the following Sunday.
"The only focus is our next game but of course you are having to plan forward and look at one or two teams down the line," said Rodgers, who this week had to quash reports there had been a disagreement between him and Gerrard.
"If you rest someone they are rotated, if they are rotated they are dropped, if he is dropped he is left out so you can't win as a manager.
"I'll always pick a team which I think can win the game."