Liverpool boss Rodgers excited seeing Sturridge reaching full fitness
Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers says Danny Sturridge is edging closer to full match fitness.
Rodgers believes the awareness and skill Sturridge demonstrated in his first two outings for the Reds serve to highlight why he can be a highly-influential player for the club going forward.
"Daniel came in here and the spotlight was on him because everyone knew we needed someone up there to help Luis and get goals," Rodgers told reporters gathered at Melwood.
"He's scored a couple of goals in two games. He'll be very close for the weekend. It's just a case of making sure he's prepared well and right. He's enjoying every minute of being here and if I feel he's fit and in good condition for the weekend, then he'll play.
"He is fitting into the group really well. It's been difficult and perhaps frustrating for him because he hasn't been at the top level of his fitness yet, which is why we had to put him on the bench and bring him into the game [against United].
"But his performance in the second half - and his 55 minutes at Mansfield - showed he can be a very, very good player for us.
"There are not many players who would have got to that loose ball. If you look at the distance he has run, his pace and power have took him into the box and he finished it very well.
"He's very, very close [to full fitness] and working very hard. When you have good players like Daniel, Luis and Steven and the other players around them, it makes things really exciting."