Liverpool taking precautions with Daniel Sturridge, says Reds No2
Colin Pascoe says Liverpool won't push Daniel Sturridge too hard
Liverpool are taking extra precautions over Daniel Sturridge’s fitnees to lessen the risk of repeat injuries, according to assistant manager Colin Pascoe.
The England forward started Tuesday night’s lively 3-2 victory over Tottenham, but made way on 70 minutes for Mario Balotelli, who scored the winner.
Speaking ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup fifth-round tie at Crystal Palace, Pascoe admitted the forward is eager to get back to playing 90 minutes again.
“He [Sturridge] didn’t want to come off,” Pascoe told his pre-match media conference on Thursday. “He’s desperate to play a whole game but we knew 70 minutes was his maximum.
“Anything more than that then you’re overstepping it and he could play a muscle.”
Brendan Rodgers’ number two added that Sturridge’s reintegration into the team will be gradual, but he will be monitored closely to chart his progress.
“It’s a progression with Daniel – we can’t push him too much at the moment. We’ll monitor him and see how he is and how he’s training,” said the 49-year-old.
The former Chelsea forward has only made six appearances so far in a season plagued by injury and Liverpool are working around the Englishman’s return, by using their available assets.
“We knew that Mario would be coming on for the last 20 minutes, but Daniel is not far off 90 minutes,” said Pascoe.
“He’s recovering at the moment. He’s feeling great and he’s feeling well. We’ll have to talk to the sports scientists, but we don’t want to push him [Sturridge].”
The Reds head to Selhurst Park this weekend aiming to give outgoing iconic midfielder Steven Gerrard the perfect birthday present – an FA Cup winner’s medal.
But south London has been an unhappy hunting ground for Liverpool in the past two seasons – blowing a three goal lead in the final 11 minutes to draw last season and losing 3-1 earlier this season.
The two sides have history in the FA Cup – most famously when current Eagles boss Alan Pardew headed home an extra time winner in the 1990 semi-final at Villa Park.