If selected, Daniel Sturridge is fit and ready to make his first start since recovering from injury when Liverpool take on Aston Villa on Saturday, Brendan Rodgers has confirmed.

The striker returned to action with a bang as a second-half substitute in Sunday's 5-3 victory at Stoke City; creating a goal for Luis Suarez before getting on the scoresheet himself.

After another week's worth of training at Melwood, Rodgers feels Sturridge is fit enough to be considered for a starting berth when Villa come to Anfield this weekend.

The boss told Liverpoolfc.com: "His qualities and fitness, aligned with what I've seen in training, I think show that if we needed him to start, he would be able to."

Despite having not figured since the Merseyside derby on November 23 due to an ankle problem sustained in training, Sturridge looked fresh as he made his comeback at the Britannia Stadium.

It was a similar scenario at the start of 2013-14 when, despite having his pre-season disrupted by injury, the 24-year-old began the campaign with an immediate impact by firing in each of his first five matches.

Rodgers added: "I think that says everything. He's a boy that is blessed genetically with this wonderful gift of being able to recover - but it's also a mark of his professionalism as well.

"When you've been out for so long, like he was in pre-season, to come back and play as quickly as he did showed how hard he was working in the off-season. And likewise now after the period out.

"He looks after his body, his body fat, his weight and that natural fitness he has, alongside his work, allows him to come back and make the impact he made last week.

"He's again looked very, very good in training, very sharp, and he'll be at a good level come the weekend."

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