Liverpool need to tailor injury-prone striker Daniel Sturridge's rehabilitation process after his latest injury setback to try and keep him fit for what remains of the season, manager Jurgen Klopp has said.
Sturridge will miss Thursday night's trip to Sion in the Europa League after picking up a hamstring injury when he came on in the second half of Liverpool's 2-0 defeat at Newcastle United on Sunday.
He has managed about 110 minutes of competitive football in the 12 games since Klopp took charge at Anfield, starting only one.
"It's a hamstring and it's not easy to say when he can be back for us," Klopp told journalists at his pre-match news conference.
Klopp appeared to criticise the forward a few weeks ago when he said Sturridge needed to differentiate between 'pain and serious pain', but pointed to the lack of a proper pre-season as a factor in his frequent breakdowns.
The England international, who managed just 12 Premier League appearances last season, missed pre-season after undergoing hip surgery, and his return to action this campaign was stalled by a knee injury in October.
"There are two different things we have to look at – the one thing is the injury and the other is how we can bring him into a shape that is not so intensive for him, so he needs to train," Klopp said.
"The good thing with the muscle injury is that early (on) he can start to run and to train – not football but all the other things he needs.
"If you look at his history in the last month and year it's not the longest time he could train.
"Now we have to build up his resistance. It is like it is. We have to help him be more resistant for all the games we have," the German added.
Sturridge will be missing against Sion, but influential midfielder Philippe Coutinho is back in the squad for the first time since injuring his hamstring against Manchester City on November 21.