Sturridge was eventually carried away on a stretcher last night, following a challenge which saw him hurt his ankle during England’s 1-1 draw against the Republic of Ireland.
It’s a little too early to say but if the problem turns out to be long term, it means Brendan Rodgers may have no choice but to try and find a way to include Carroll in his Anfield plans.
With Luis Suarez also showing signs that he’s looking to leave the club this summer, Rodgers could find himself in the situation where he only has Fabio Borini and the imminent arrival of Iago Aspas leading his attack next season.
The problem Rodgers is facing is that he’s made it quite clear that he doesn’t see Carroll in what he’s trying to achieve at Anfield.
Carroll is the complete opposite of the football that Rodgers likes Liverpool to play, which is why he sent him on loan at the start of the last campaign when Liverpool were in a similar position, lacking strikers.
Carroll has said he wants to stay and fight for his place at the club, which means he doesn’t seem to be the sort of person who would now make life difficult for the club that owns him.
Quite the opposite, he should see it as an opportunity to prove that he can be a much more subtle footballer than a lot of people give him credit for if Sturridge is kept out for a long time.
There will be friction there because Rodgers has effectively given off the impression to Carroll that he’s not good enough to play in his current Liverpool team.
However, he quickly needs to change that because if Liverpool have aspirations to get into the top four next season, Rodgers can’t afford to have an unhappy striker if he’s forced to rely on Carroll.
The matter will change if it turns out that Sturridge’s knock is just a sprain or something minor, which isn’t going to keep him out of action for several months.
In a way the injury to Sturridge has come at the best possible time because he has a couple of months to recover and get fit for the new season while Liverpool don’t have games.
Carroll may well have started to accept that he was just never going to get another chance at Liverpool but this news leaves the door ever so slightly open.
If he can now get into the Liverpool team, prove that he can be effective in the systems that Rodgers likes to use then he shouldn’t have any problem in saving his career at Anfield.
Will Rodgers now be forced to use Carroll?
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