Liverpool FC striker Daniel Sturridge is close to a return to action as his rehabilitation from an ankle injury draws to its conclusion.
Sturridge, 24, has not featured for the ‘Reds’ since November 23rd Merseyside derby’s 3-3 draw with Everton. The England international has missed key games against Chelsea and Manchester City during the brief hiatus.
He trained this week and will be assessed for Sunday’s trip to Stoke City.
Sturridge has scored nine goals in 12 Premier League appearances this season.
Liverpool boss, Brendan Rodgers, said: “To have someone of that stature and quality back in your group gives you great firepower.
“He has made a terrific impact since he came in here and we are working hard with him and his talent to allow that to flourish.
“Over the last four to five weeks it has obviously been difficult with injuries, but having these types of players back and just seeing him on the training field has been really good.
“We don’t need to rush but we need to make sure he is ready to make an impact in the second half of the season.”
Meanwhile, defender Daniel Agger will be sidelined for about a month with a calf problem.
Agger, 29, limped out of the 2-0 FA Cup third-round win over Oldham last weekend.