Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has confirmed that Daniel Sturridge will miss Sunday's Premier League match against West Ham and admitted that he doesn't know when the striker will return to fitness.
The 27-year-old Sturridge has been a peripheral figure for the Reds in recent times and has missed the last three matches with a calf strain, but Klopp refused to put a timeline on his return.
"[We have] no real idea. Until now he didn't train on the pitch – maybe today but it wasn't 100 percent clear yesterday," Klopp told a news conference on Friday afternoon. "He will go out today on the pitch but that means starting the football work not with the team but only the rehab coach. I have no idea when he is back.
"[We have] no real idea. Until now he didn't train on the pitch – maybe today but it wasn't 100 percent clear yesterday," Klopp said during Friday's pre-match press conference.
"He will go out today on the pitch but that means starting the football work not with the team but only the rehab coach. I have no idea when he is back.
We can't forget about this man's talent, brilliant player.
Daniel Sturridge pic.twitter.com/gaKpI5MQzA
— Sam (@VintageJurgen) December 3, 2016
"That's the life of football, you cannot force things, never. The name of the player or the quality of the player isn't important, you have to wait as a manager until they're back.
"Sometimes you have to wait a little bit longer because you decide – as we have done in the past – that a few days' training would be nice before we start again. It's not perfect in our situation with Phil [Coutinho] and Danny [out] but we can't change it.
"I learned pretty early I [shouldn't] make pressure by making timelines so why should I do it?
"He will be back as quickly as possible, but I have no idea at this moment. If he is not training with the team at the moment then we don't have to think about him for West Ham, or think about him for Middlesbrough.
"Maybe [after] then but I have no idea. It would be nice [to have him back for Everton] but I really have no idea."
Klopp added that Sadio Mane and Joel Matip will be fit for the encounter, before coming to the defense of under-fire goalkeeper Loris Karius.
Karius was at least partially to blame for last week's 4-3 defeat to Bournemouth after dropping Steve Cook's in the lead-up to Nathan Ake's late winner.
"When we made our analysis of the game, I found eight players that could've defended the goal before Loris got involved. Then, he made a mistake too, which [David] de Gea made a few days before. Even the best goalkeepers in the world still make mistakes – that's possible," Klopp continued.
"It's all up to you, it's not up to me. I know we live in a public world and everything is interesting and we have to deal with pressure and all that stuff, but there's no perfect recipe for development. Closing your ears helps a lot. I'm quite good in this actually, it's helped a lot in my life, so hopefully he can adapt to my skills in this."