Michael Owen has accused Liverpool of “fuelling the rumours” after failing to detail the injury problems of Daniel Sturridge.
Owen says “we all get texts on our phones” relating to the Liverpool man, but he has sprung to the defence of Sturridge, who has been heavily criticised for his lack of action.
Sturridge replaced Philippe Coutinho after 59 minutes of Tuesday’s FA Cup replay defeat at West Ham – his first appearance since early December.
The England international has missed the majority of the season with three separate issues, and has made just four appearances under Jurgen Klopp since the manager’s appointment in October.
“I wish we knew a bit more,” Owen told BT Sport. “We all get texts on our phones saying Sturridge has done this or that, but it is all people guessing. I find it hard to have a view until we find out what’s wrong. The club have not really said. Until we know exactly what problems he has had or has got, it is fuelling a lot of rumours.
“People are saying things that are potentially unfair. I have been injured before and if he is getting muscle injuries then I have every sympathy because they are debilitating. You cannot play on with muscle injuries, they just tear, tear and tear until they erupt. It is the worst thing ever.
“However, if he has joint pain – an ankle, a knee and a hip – it can be manageable. It is all about pain thresholds. We have not really been given the information so I do wince a little bit when I see people having a real go.
“He is running out of time and with a dozen games left, if he got injured between now and the end of the season, you would have to say it is not going to happen.
“If he gets fit, he could be the fly in the ointment in terms of Rooney, Vardy and Kane. He has a lot of class and would shoot right back into the reckoning.”