The title of this brief post is a massive generalisation, but equally it’s one that doesn’t seem that wide of the mark either when you consider his appearance record.
For instance, this season Daniel Sturridge played the full ninety minutes at Everton, but then hasn’t been seen on the pitch since, and he signed off for last season with eighty-five minutes at Blackburn. His injury at the start of 2014/15 was picked up in England training and not the match itself either, after “the striker had a request rejected for a recovery training session on the day he suffered his thigh injury“.
I couldn’t recall him ever hobbling off mid-match (though more on this below), let alone being stretchered off, and yet he misses huge numbers of games.
Sturridge has been subbed 24 times before the start of this season. Only 3 times has he not played in the following game.
3 Feb 2013 v Man City, subbed at 90’ and missed the next 2 games.
13 April 2014 v Man City (again!) at 66’ and missed next game.
8 April 2015 v Blackburn, subbed at 85’ and missed remaining 8 games of the season.
I checked the available data via the BBC website, and only the second of the above games with Manchester City listed the substitution due to injury rather than being a tactical decision (and as the other two occasions mentioned here were at the end of games, that seems a reasonable assumption to make too).
This won’t be an entirely accurate way to test if he has been injured during games of course, and some knocks will probably have occurred during international matches too. It is true to say that Sturridge has only been substituted due to injury for Liverpool and not been available for the next match once though, and yet in total (according to Transfermarkt) he has missed 89 Liverpool matches since signing less than three years ago, and (according to Physioroom) he has had sixteen reported injuries.
Far be it for me to tell the sports science team at Liverpool what to do, but perhaps he needs a Ledley King style fitness programme where he rarely trains and just plays matches. Maybe he has a very limited number of minutes in his legs, so if so let’s make sure he has them on the pitch.
I don’t have an answer as to why he seems to get injured away from the pitch so often, and maybe there’s nothing in it beyond coincidence anyway; feel free to submit your own theory in the comments below.