In­jury lay-off f is send­ing Dan nuts

Midweek Sport - - ON THE NOSE - By JAMES McMATH

LIVER­POOL hot­shot Daniel Stur­ridge ad­mits be­ing out in­jured is do­ing his nut in.

The Reds striker has missed seven matches so far with a thigh strain and has had to sit back and watch as Bren­dan Rodgers’ men have made a patchy start to the sea­son.

Stur­ridge groaned: “I don’t think peo­ple re­alise how hard it is men­tally be­ing in­jured. I’ve had a lot of time to re­flect.

“I can’t wait to be back. The best feel­ing is to be play­ing foot­ball and I take it for granted when I’m fit.”

There was some good news for Stur­ridge last week when he put pen to pa­per on a new five-year con­tract worth about £115,000 a week.

The 25-year-old has scored 36 goals in 52 games since mov­ing to An­field from Chelsea in Jan­uary last year.

Liver­pool have badly missed the hit­man – es­pe­cially after los­ing Luis Suarez to Barcelona this sum­mer.

Stur­ridge is ex­pected

Re­ward

to be fit to face QPR on Oc­to­ber 19 and he is rel­ish­ing the prospect of get­ting back among the goals.

“I can’t wait for th­ese mo­ments again. Win­ning games and scor­ing goals is the motto,” he added.

Kop boss Rodgers spent £117m on new tal­ent in the sum­mer in a bid to go one bet­ter than last year’s sec­ond­place fin­ish in the Premier League.

Rodgers has made ty­ing down key play­ers his next job, with Jor­dan Hen­der­son next in line to sign a bumper new con­tract.

Hen­der­son, 24, has come on leaps and bounds un­der Rodgers but is still on the same deal as when he joined from Sun­der­land in 2011.

The mid­fielder has 20 months left on that con­tract and Liver­pool plan to of­fer him a new five-year deal that will dou­ble his £40,000-aweek wages.

It will be just re­ward for Hen­der­son, who has gone from flop in his first sea­son to be­ing the club’s vice-cap­tain as well as be­com­ing an Eng­land reg­u­lar.

There is doubt over Glen John­son’s fu­ture at An­field, though.

The 30-year-old full­back re­jected a new one-year con­tract in May, hop­ing that a longer of­fer would come.

But the club have pulled the plug on any more ne­go­ti­a­tions.

John­son re­vealed: “It’s gone very quiet. I am just con­cen­trat­ing week by week and not think­ing about it.

“Would I like to stay? Of course, yeah.”

John­son’s re­cov­ery from a thigh in­jury gives Rodgers another op­tion in de­fence.

His re­turn is timely, given that Liver­pool have kept only one clean sheet so far this sea­son.

John­son added: “I feel good and it’s about match fit­ness now.

“The body feels good, so I just need some train­ing ses­sions and I can take it from there.

“It is dif­fi­cult when you have bad pe­ri­ods, but you’ll also get good pe­ri­ods. That is foot­ball.”

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