Daniel Sturridge has been cleared to make his A-League Men return but Perth Glory coach Richard Garcia says he will continue to take a slow and steady approach with the former Liverpool star.

Daniel Sturridge 2021-22 season

  • Daniel Sturridge was signed by Perth Glory ahead of the 2021-22 season. 
  • The striker has only made three appearances so far, playing 55 A-League minutes.
  • The former Liverpool star contracted COVID-19 last month.

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Sturridge was hit hard by COVID-19 late last month and was among a host of Glory players who suffered from shortness of breath in the aftermath.

The 32-year-old missed last week's 1-1 draw with Central Coast, but he will return off the bench in Sunday's clash with Brisbane in Launceston.

"It hit him quite hard. He was definitely one of those that took longer to recover," Garcia said.

"But now he looks like he's back to his old self.

"He's had a good week of training. He's been very impressive.

"His minutes will be limited off the bench, but it's rapidly getting closer to getting that start that we want him to have."

Sturridge was hoping his playing stint in Australia would help reboot a glittering career that had been put on hold by a four-month ban for breaching gambling rules.

But his appearances for Glory have been limited to three cameos off the bench, with his on-again, off-again campaign thwarted by three separate stints in quarantine.

Sturridge's contract runs out at the end of the season, and Garcia said it was still too early to talk about the possibility of extending the former England international's stay.

"We've had a lot of other things to concentrate on so far to this point," Garcia said.

"We want to focus on getting Daniel on the park, and focus on him being consistent within the team.

"Then once we cross that bridge, then we can cross the bridge of what we do next season.

"The biggest thing for me is Daniel comes in and enjoys his football.

"If we help him achieve that and he's happy on the park, then we're going to benefit from that with his fantastic quality."

Former Socceroos goalkeeper Brad Jones is still sidelined with the calf injury he picked up in round two.

But in a promising sign, Glory are set to fly the 39-year-old into Tasmania to train with the team, before unleashing him in games when the club returns home in March.

Glory sit on bottom of the table with two wins and two draws from eight matches, but they have games in hand on all of their rivals.


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The full A-League Men's schedule can be found using this link.