Rodgers: Sturridge back mid-to-late January

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers expects Daniel Sturridge to make his long-awaited return to action by mid-to-late January.

England striker Sturridge has been limited to just three Premier League appearances this season - the last of which came at Tottenham in August.

Sturridge was originally ruled out after sustaining a thigh injury when on England duty in September and has since suffered two setbacks in his recovery.

The 25-year-old has been undergoing treatment for the issue in Boston, but is set to return to Liverpool in the coming days to finalise his rehabilitation programme.

"He will be back here to finalise his rehab in early January," Rodgers said on Wednesday. 

"He should be back playing mid-to-late January."

A return for Sturridge, who scored 21 Premier League goals last season, would be a welcome boost for Rodgers - whose side have struggled to replicate the scintillating attacking displays that helped them to a second-placed finish last term.

The likes of Mario Balotelli and Rickie Lambert, who arrived in the last transfer window, have been unable to replicate the goal return provided by Sturridge and Luis Suarez in 2013-14.

Liverpool showed signs of being back to their best in Monday's 4-1 win over Swansea City at Anfield, though, and Rodgers believes there have been plenty of positives over the last 12 months.

"It's been another year of progress," he added. "Over the course of 2014 we've made significant strides forward.

"If you look at the points total over the course of 2014 only two clubs [Chelsea and Manchester City] sit above us."