Daniel Sturridge faces a Six month lay-off following complex surgery intended to cure a chronic hip problem.

Liverpool FC still believe that is the best possible outcome for the striker, because it means they have finally got to the bottom of his endless injury problems.

England star Sturridge went under the knife in New York on Tuesday. A procedure that lasted four hours saw one of the top specialists in the United States undertake exploratory and remedial work in the hip joint.

The operation was so intrusive that the 25-year-old now requires a minimum of four months rest and recuperation before he can even consider returning to training and with a period of around six weeks required to complete the usual ‘pre-season’ fitness programme to allow him to return to first team action, the forward is facing the best part of Six months before he can kick a ball in anger again.

That would mean Liverpool are without their number one striker until October at the earliest, and the news will come as a bitter blow to fans already reeling from Thursday’s news tha tManchester United have beaten them to PSV Eindhoven star Memphis Depay.

But sources both within the club and close to the Sturridge camp claim they are delighted with the way the operation has gone because it uncovered some serious issues that may be related to the muscle problems that ruined the player’s 2014-15 season.

Sturridge has started just seven league games this year, after being struck down with thigh, calf and then hip problems and been branded a ‘sicknote’ in some quarters.

While it is a devastating blow for the club in the short term, given the problems the Reds have had in scoring goals this season and the struggle they will face to sign strikers in the summer, the club believes it will be worth it in the long term if it cures Sturridge’s injury issues.