The sight of Daniel Sturridge clutching an ice pack to his thigh after 90 minutes against City offered some concern for those Fantasy managers banking on the new Anfield arrival for this week’s double fixture. Sturridge has been a hugely popular transfer target this week, despite the concern surrounding his chances of making Liverpool’s opening fixture against West Brom on Monday. Reason enough for me to make a return to the fold and examine the evidence on show surrounding the injury.
The initial concern stems from the striker limping slightly towards the end of the first half, after he’d scored the equalising goal, but having observed the match footage, Sturridge was not involved in any significant contacts nor were any excessive joint ranges evident.
The one point of note came immediately after he scored: as he strikes the ball with his left foot his body rotates excessively during the follow through and with the studs of his right foot planted firmly in the turf subsequently not allowing him to “spin on the balls of his foot” to accept the momentum, the rotary action of the force transfers to the knee and then to the hip joint.
For the next ten minutes Sturridge can be observed limping and periodically holding his upper thigh in the region of the Vastus Lateralis. (the quadriceps muscle on the outside of the thigh). However, during this period and indeed throughout the rest of the match this did not appear to affect his mobility or his agility as Sturridge can be witnessed twisting and turning, accelerating and decelerating and dribbling with pace. Movements that would highlight any significant injuries.
It is also worth noting that Sturridge is only just approaching full match fitness and as such his muscles are still adapting to the overload and some tightness in the quadriceps area, which is the biggest muscle of the leg and the prime moving agonist during the kicking motion, should be expected.
He would also have been assessed at half-time and cleared to play without an unreasonable risk of further injury, a further indication that the injury was mild and stable. The evidence leads me to believe that Sturridge suffered a mild grade 1 Quadriceps strain that, with treatment, should see the double Gameweek favourite back for Monday’s encounter.