Jurgen Klopp played down Liverpool fans’ concerns over the fitness of Daniel Sturridge after the striker left the field 10 minutes from the end of his side’s 2-2 Premier League draw with Sunderland.
Sturridge has been plagued by injury in recent seasons and only recently returned from a calf problem that kept him out for a month.
Making his first start since mid-October, he opened the scoring for Liverpool with a header in the 19th minute at the Stadium of Light, before Jermain Defoe equalised from the spot six minutes later.
Another Defoe penalty eventually clinched the draw for Sunderland after Sadio Mane had restored the visitors’ lead but it was the sight of Sturridge limping away from the visiting dugout at the end that was arguably just as much of a concern for Liverpool’s supporters.
Klopp, though, is not expecting his forward to be sidelined for any serious length of time.
“He had a knock on his right ankle. I don’t think it’s too bad,” said the German.
Klopp added that his decision to replace James Milner at half-time was a precautionary measure after Liverpool’s stand-in captain felt tightness in his calf, while regular skipper Jordan Henderson (heel) is not expected to be fit for the FA Cup clash with Burnley on Saturday.
The Anfield boss had earlier expressed frustration at conceding two penalties in the match, believing a free-kick that preceded the second should not have been given.
He also criticised his side’s hectic festive schedule in an uncharacteristically downbeat post-match interview.
“Maybe I’m not the best loser in the world – I have no problem with that,” he said, explaining his mood. “Today, two penalties feels not good.”
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