Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge facing four months on sidelines and could miss start of season

Ankle problem could leave Liverpool short of strikers with Luis Suarez future still in doubt

Liverpool fear that their striker Daniel Sturridge could miss the start of the Premier League season with the ankle injury he sustained playing for England against the Republic of Ireland last Wednesday, leaving Brendan Rodgers badly short of attacking options.

While the Luis Suarez saga rumbles on and the Uruguayan striker makes clear his desire to leave the club in the summer, another pressing concern is the timescale of Sturridge's recovery. The 23-year-old went off in the 33rd minute of the game at Wembley after a tackle from Glenn Whelan and was pulled out of last night's international friendly against Brazil in Rio de Janeiro.

The fear is that in the worst-case scenario he could take up to four months to recover, which would take Liverpool up to the end of September without a player who scored 11 goals in the last 16 games of the season in all competitions, including a hat-trick against Fulham in a 3-1 victory at Craven Cottage last month. It also means that the player would miss the pre-season fitness work, a concern given his history with injuries.

England's World Cup qualifying campaign recommences in early September with two matches – against Moldova at Wembley and away to Ukraine – and there is a strong possibility Sturridge could struggle to make those vital fixtures.

At Chelsea at the start of last season, Sturridge was plagued with a hamstring injury before his move to Liverpool in the January transfer widow. The former Manchester City forward then went on to score 11 league goals, making it his equal most prolific season in the Premier League alongside 2011-12 with Chelsea. Any problems for Liverpool will be mitigated by the availability of Spanish striker Iago Aspas, who they signed the from Celta Vigo last week. The 25-year-old cost around £7.5m.

The club have also been linked with Barcelona's David Villa – who has also been targeted by Tottenham Hotspur and scored Barcelona's opening goal in their 4-1 win over Malaga in their final La Liga fixture of the season on Saturday – and the Udinese striker Luis Muriel among many others as potential replacements for Suarez.

The striker has given three interviews expressing his desire to leave Liverpool. The first said he would find it hard to say no to Real Madrid and the other two how hard life in England has become after his most recent ban, the 10-game suspension from the Football Association for biting Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic back in April.

"My reason for leaving is not the money," Suarez said in his most recent interview. "It's my family and image. I don't feel comfortable here any more."

Liverpool have reiterated their desire to keep the 26-year-old to his contract at Anfield.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Lena Dunham posing for an official portrait at Sundance 2015
people
Arts and Entertainment
Under the skin: Sarah Kane in May 1998
theatreThe story behind a new season of Sarah Kane plays
Arts and Entertainment
Preening: Johnny Depp in 'Mortdecai'
filmMortdecai becomes actor's fifth consecutive box office bomb
Sport
Bradford City's reward for their memorable win over Chelsea is a trip to face either Sunderland or Fulham (Getty)
football
News
Lars Andersen took up archery in his mid thirties
video
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Woman who was sent to three Nazi death camps describes how she escaped the gas chamber

Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary

Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea