Liverpool ready to move on as Sturridge undergoes hip surgery
Striker faces fight to be fit for next season and earn his place in a new-look Liverpool team
Injury-plagued Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge has undergone hip surgery in New York, bringing his wretched season to an early end and leaving him with a summer of hard work if he is to be fit for the start of the next campaign.
Sturridge was operated on by Dr Bryan T Kelly, an orthopaedic surgeon and hip specialist who has worked with the New York Giants NFL team and the New York Red Bull MLS side.
The 25-year-old, who has been restricted to 18 club appearances this season and just seven league starts, declared the operation a success on his Instagram account and said he was looking "onwards and upwards".
Sturridge initially travelled to the US to be assessed by medical experts connected to Liverpool's owners, the Fenway Sports Group. But, according to The Times, "all parties involved in the process have come to the conclusion that surgery represents the best chance of him making a successful and rapid return to first-team action".
The forward will now begin "an intense period of post-surgery rehabilitation", says the paper, and will miss England's upcoiming internationals against Ireland and Slovenia.
After a season in which Sturridge has suffered thigh, calf and hip injuries it is still unclear when he will return. "Liverpool have not put a timeframe on the striker's recovery but Sturridge will have to work on his recovery programme throughout the summer break to be ready for the start of pre-season training," says The Guardian.
What's more, Sturridge "may find his status as Liverpool’s leading striker threatened by the time the new Premier League season commences", claims the paper. "His fitness record prompted the Liverpool manager [Brendan Rodgers] to admit recently that a transfer priority for this summer is a proven goalscorer who can perform 'at the top level every week'."
In an interview with The Times on Saturday, before it was decided he needed surgery, Sturridge insisted that he had not been affected mentally by his injuries. "You have to have a single-minded mentality to get back in the best shape possible," he said. "When you're injured it's important to have that type of mentality... I'm single-minded, zoning in on what I have to do and it's great to be here."