Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp admits he is pleased with Daniel Sturridge’s progress and hopes he is over his injury hell.
Sturridge made his return to action after two months on the sidelines in Liverpool’s FA Cup exit against West Ham United on Tuesday.
The England international has missed most of Liverpool’s campaign through injury, while he also only started 13 of Liverpool’s last 96 games.
“The cool thing about this statistic is that it’s absolutely not interesting anymore,” Klopp said. “At this moment, he is in training and has featured in one of the last two games, so that’s 50 per cent. That’s not bad.
“It would be really silly if we always make a shadow on the present by thinking about the past with Daniel.
“It’s really normal that everybody is asking about Daniel, of course. He is one of the most talented players I have ever seen. Football looks so easy when he plays.
“When he was unavailable, everybody was waiting for him to be back. That’s just how it is.
“When a player is not available, I don’t think about what it would be like if he was available. But maybe with Daniel it is a little bit different because you’d see him in action and think, ‘God, it would not be bad to have him in the squad’.
“But now he has played, and that’s good. For Daniel, football is what cycling is like for the rest of us. He doesn’t forget how to do it and he never will.
“He’s not 100 per cent yet — who could be after this injury? – but he is in a good way.”
Sturridge will be working on getting himself back in the frame for England’s Euro 2016 squad, but Klopp hopes the 26-year-old does not pick up an injury if he gets picked by Roy Hodgson.
“It’s not my decision if he goes with England,” the German said. “Hopefully at the end of the season Roy Hodgson can make this decision.
“That’s the most important thing, because that will mean Daniel is fit and playing for us. Roy then has to decide whether he can take him.
“If I say now, ‘Yes, it’s good for him to go’ I can see the headline ‘Klopp says Roy has to take Daniel.’ So there’ll be no word from me about this.
“In the summer, if he’s fit, I’d like to have him in the pre-season with us so it’s not something like a pre-season, it is a proper pre-season.”