Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp must be patient with Daniel Sturridge, just like he was with Ilkay Gundogan during his time at Borussia Dortmund.
Sturridge has been plagued by injuries during his Liverpool career - with at least seven of his stints on the sidelines being for six or more games at a time.
Like Sturridge, Germany international Gundogan was troubled by injuries - missing practically all of the 2013-14 season - before getting over his back problem and returning to playing regularly.
"I had 15 months with Ilkay Gundogan where we had to all wait. It was his back and we had no chance to force it," Klopp explained. "It's not a back problem with Daniel, but it's the muscle.
"Out of responsibility, we have to do everything we can to give him the physical strength to be able to play Premier League football.
Klopp said he does not need to make a decision on Sturridge's future at the club, and that he has no other option but to be patient with the 26-year-old.
"I don’t have to make a decision about Daniel," he said. "Make a decision about what? I have two-and-a-half years left on my contract and have been here three or four months. That’s not a problem.
"We have to patient. That’s not my best skill, to be honest, but in this case I have no other choice.
"To have a player like Daniel in your squad is always a good situation, and when it’s not possible to use him, it’s not a good situation.
"We all know it’s pretty easy for him when he’s fit, but at this moment he isn’t. We cannot change this and I am not thinking about making a general decision (about him) at the moment."
England international Sturridge has started just four games this term due to a series of varying niggles.
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