Liverpool will continue to be patient with Daniel Sturridge before finally giving him the green light to play 90 minutes.
The England international played 74 minutes of the 3-2 win over Tottenham on Tuesday, having previously launched his comeback from a long standing thigh problem with substitute appearances against West Ham, Bolton and Everton.
Sturridge is eager to play a full game now that he has had no reaction and Saturday’s FA Cup tie against Crystal Palace would seem an obvious point to play a full game. However, Liverpool assistant manager Colin Pascoe revealed the club will continue to treat Sturridge with kid gloves to eliminate any chance of him suffering a reoccurrence.
Pascoe said: ‘Daniel is desperate to play. He didn’t want to come off he kept saying “don’t take me off” we knew his max to push him, anything more it could have got injured. We can’t push him too much at the moment. We will monitor him and see how he is. We will talk to the sports science department. He is not far off the 90 minutes. The last five months and what has gone on, we have to be careful.’
Pascoe, meanwhile, confirmed that Steven Gerrard is set for a spell on the sidelines after damaging his hamstring against Tottenham. Liverpool’s captain is expected to be out for two weeks but Raheem Sterling could be back in contention for the trip to Selhurst Park as he has made a good recovery from the ankle problem that ruled him out on Tuesday.
‘Unfortunately he felt his hamstring end of the game,’ said Pascoe. ‘He is Having a scan this morning and waiting on the results to come back.
‘Raheem was gutted he missed the game the other night but monitoring him to see how he is.’
Liverpool will be looking to rectify their most wretched display of the season at Palace on Saturday but, looking back on the 3-1 defeat they suffered in November, Pascoe said: ‘The manager said when we lost to Palace that time there was areal low in the camp. You look for a reaction from that result, we tweaked the system a little bit and the players have responded fantastically.
‘From that game it has been a great reaction, we tweaked the system and that was the little change that we did. We want to win the FA Cup and will be doing our best to win.’