Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp urges patience over Daniel Sturridge
Daniel Sturridge still needs more time before he is ready to make his Liverpool comeback and Jordan Henderson currently cannot train, manager Jurgen Klopp has revealed.
Sturridge was thought to be close to a return ahead of the 2-0 defeat away to West Ham United on Saturday -- a game in which Christian Benteke struggled again up front for an uninspired Liverpool.
But the England striker did not travel with the team and Klopp explained on Monday that he had not had enough consecutive training sessions under his belt to be considered.
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"Maybe you have the idea that we train with Daniel for three weeks and say every day, 'more, more, more, more,' and every day he's fitter and fitter, and in the end I say, 'No, I wait'," he said
"It's not like this. Daniel had some problems in these weeks, not serious, but then he could not make the next session and we had to wait a day or something like this -- how a preseason can be."
Mindful of his succession of injuries, and the busy and disrupted summers Sturridge has had with club and country, Klopp has had the forward undertake a personalised training regime for the past three weeks.
Sturridge tweeted on Dec. 27 that he was "good to go" and, although Klopp was initially reluctant to agree, the manager said last week that the player had an outside chance of featuring at Upton Park.
But he admitted on Monday ahead of the League Cup semifinal trip to Stoke that Sturridge had in fact not taken part in full sessions with his teammates.
"It's a preseason without games, so it should not happen too much, but some little things happened," Klopp said. "We always have to handle this -- it's not a row of sessions and now we are here: 'go.' I'm the first who will pick him when he's available, when he's ready for this -- I will never hold him back.
"Because he didn't have one session with the team, which was the usual plan for this week, he's not available.
"What Dan is doing right now is hard work, to prepare for the things we're doing in a game. He hasn't had a preseason since 2011. What we are trying to do is to fill his body with energy and strength and everything, that's what we have to do.
"It would be easy for me to say, 'Come on, let's try, we have problems, we don't score enough goals, bring him and let's see what happens.' But that's where we have to be patient. We have to wait."
Club captain Henderson was substituted in the 1-0 win at Sunderland last Wednesday after experiencing discomfort in the heel injury that kept him out for three months at the start of the season. That was a precautionary measure but the midfielder then missed the trip to the Hammers and Klopp said that the tendon had to be allowed to heal itself.
"We don't really know, because we have to wait each day, each hour, each minute," Klopp added. "The thing that happened with the tendon in the foot, it's good. It's painful but it's good.
"We hope that when the blood is out of the foot then the situation is solved, but at this moment there is blood around the heel, so it's not possible to train or to play.
"We hope it's not serious and we don't have to wait, because we cannot do more. He's having treatment and, everything we can do to bring the blood out of the foot, we are doing. We cannot rush more, it's time we need."
Tom is ESPN FC's Liverpool correspondent. Follow him @writertombell.