Rodgers hopeful of Sturridge derby return

Brendan Rodgers remains optimistic that Daniel Sturridge will return for Liverpool's Merseyside derby with Everton on Saturday.

The 25-year-old sustained a thigh injury while on international duty and has not featured for Liverpool since the 3-0 win over Tottenham at the end of August.

With Liverpool struggling for consistency at the start of the new season, Sturridge's return would represent a huge boost to Rodgers and his men, but the Northern Irishman was unable to provide a definitive answer on the striker's availability.

"We've got a number of injuries that we're just going to give every chance to," he said in a press conference on Thursday. "Obviously the game is 48 hours away.

"[Sturridge] is a player who is out on the field working. Daniel and a number of others we'll assess nearer the time. If he doesn't make it, then he won't be far off after that.

"He is someone that responds well to treatment and it's gone well - he's out on the field. There's still a couple of days to go yet before the game. The most important thing is that he is nearer to fitness.

"He certainly won't be match fit - he hasn't played for a few weeks. But it would be great to have him back because he's a wonderful player for us.

"He's a great reference for our team at the top of the field. His pace and movement and quality that we saw the last time he played for us, against Tottenham. He was exceptional.

"We'll be very happy to have him back and we hope that can be this weekend. But we'll assess over the next couple of days."