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Sturridge leaves training with ankle injury; Liverpool expecting bad news

Nov 29, 2013, 9:25 PM EDT

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Liverpool won’t know the extent of the damage until over the weekend, but after Daniel Sturridge was forced from training on Friday with suspected ligament damage in his ankle, the club is braced to lose their co-leading scorer. Though there’s been no official word from the club, the England international is almost certainly out of Sunday’s trip to Hull.

Early Friday, manager Brendan Rodgers had predicted Sturridge could return to the team’s starting XI, the 24-year-old having been dropped for last weekend’s Merseyside Derby. But coming off the bench, Sturridge scored the goal that earned Liverpool a draw at Everton, and after a strong week of training, the Liverpool boss was foreshadowing a return to the starting lineup.

On Friday, however, Sturridge left practice and was immediately taken for a scan on his ankle. According to the Guardian, “the club [is] braced for bad news,” with ominous “lengthy spell” speculation making it unlikely the team’s second scoring option will be in uniform at the KC Stadium.

After 12 league appearances this season, Sturridge has already scored nine goals, his strongest start to a Premier League season. Combined with Luis Suárez, Liverpool’s top two scorers have registered 18 of the team’s 24 Premier League goals, with only one other player (Steven Gerrard, 2) having scored multiple goals.

Without him, Liverpool may continue using the setup they deployed at Goodison Park, where Jordan Henderson‘s ability to play wide occupied one flank while Philippe Coutinho cut in under Suárez from the other. With no other established forward options in the team, the Uruguayan will likely have to go it along up top, should Sturridge’s absence be a prolonged one.

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