Daniel Sturridge asked not to do the England training session that led to a hamstring injury which will keep him out for the next three weeks.
The Liverpool striker broke down while practising sprinting and shooting two days after England’s friendly with Norway. His club is insistent that, two days after playing for Liverpool, Sturridge would have been required to do a much more limited session and that the club had specifically informed the FA of his routine. Sturridge is believed to have passed on those concerns to the England coaching staff.
The player described himself as “a heartbroken soul” on the day he was injured and tweeted that his “head has gone”. His mood would not have been helped by the sight of his replacement, Danny Welbeck, scoring twice in Basel.
There are some at Anfield who wonder if Roy Hodgson would have allowed the centre-forward to undergo such a rigorous workout had Steven Gerrard still been captain. They are also concerned about the training Raheem Sterling was asked to do and wondered if it contributed to a below-par display against Switzerland on Monday.
“The 48 hours after a game are critical for a player’s recovery,” said his manager, Brendan Rodgers. “Think about Daniel’s week. He plays a high-level game at Tottenham on Sunday and performs arguably one of his best games for Liverpool.
“He goes away and meets up with the England squad on Monday and then it’s recovery on the second day. If you ask most players, it is the second day when they really feel it, although some are different.
“But the intensity of the training would be low and it would be in a small space because the muscles are still recovering,” Rodgers added. “That has allowed us over the last couple of years to maximise the availability of our players.
“I believe that on Tuesday England did a session he was involved in. Then he played a second game [against Norway] on the Wednesday and recovers Thursday. The Friday would be an active recovery day for us but, from the images I have seen, he has actually sprinted with the ball nearly 50 yards, three-quarters of the pitch, to shoot and that is when he pulls up. That’s where the issues are.”
Rodgers makes a distinction between players who are injured on international duty during games and those who break down in training. There will be no protests to the German FA over the injury Emre Can suffered while destroying Romania’s Under-21 side because, although it will keep him out for six weeks, such injuries are an occupational hazard, although the Liverpool manager thought it ironic that Can was hurt when Germany were already 6-0 up.
Liverpool will make a representation to the FA about their use of Sturridge, who would have gone to St George’s Park with information about their training and recovery routines.
“We want to help them but that [the Sturridge injury] doesn’t help them and it certainly doesn’t help us, especially when the FA knows how we work,” said Rodgers.
“I have good relations with Roy. We speak, I give him the run-down on all our young players and their positionings. I am one who is very pro the national teams and for an Irishman I actually want to help England. The core of our team is based around [English players].
“Look at Jordan Henderson the other night, against Switzerland. He is playing in a diamond and he is very fluid because he knows how to work it. Look at Raheem, he knows how to work it.”
Rodgers added: “Roy has probably been led by some of the expert sport science people he has around him and for whatever reason Daniel was deemed able to train.”
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