Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge is not ready to play despite returning to training, says boss Jurgen Klopp.
Injury-plagued Sturridge, 26, has been out with a hamstring problem since early December and will not feature against Sunderland on Saturday.
“Daniel has been back in training two days and that is great, so everything looks good in this moment,” said Klopp.
“What Daniel needs, what each player needs, is consistent training, training, training.”
Sturridge has played just six games for Liverpool this term, having been ruled out by injuries to his knee and foot as well as his hamstring.
The England international missed the end of last season and all of pre-season with a hip problem and has been unfit for more days of his Reds career than he has been available for.
“Obviously there were a few problems in the past with a few injuries, not just since I was here, and that is part of the truth, but this is the past and it would be cool if we could leave it there and we can start from now on,” said Klopp.
“We tried everything we could to bring him to this shape and now we are in the moment when hopefully we can get the benefit of this work.”
Striker Divock Origi and midfielder Philippe Coutinho also returned to training with Sturridge this week, and all three could feature in Tuesday’s FA Cup fourth-round replay with West Ham.
“Divock, Phil and Daniel are in training and you think after five minutes we should put them in the squad?” said Klopp, whose side are eighth in the Premier League.
“That is the moment when you have to say ‘Come on, we have to have another three sessions which we can use and maybe be available for West Ham.”
Does Sturridge want to leave Liverpool?
At Friday’s media conference, Klopp faced questions about Sturridge’s future following reports that the former Chelsea and Manchester City forward is considering leaving Anfield.
“If someone wants to ask me something about what they have heard about, then they can ask me, but not ‘suggestions’ – I am not interested in this,” the German said.
“The Daniel story is not a story. How can it be a story? You cannot create stories and then ask me.
“If someone wants to say something, at least write your name under it and don’t suggest something that is not too cool. There is absolutely nothing to say about it. I have heard nothing.”