Daniel Sturridge's England absence legitimate - Rodgers

Daniel Sturridge's absence from England's World Cup qualifiers with a thigh strain was legitimate, according to his Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers.

The 24-year-old striker pulled out of matches against Moldova and Ukraine, but could be fit in time for the league game against Swansea on Monday evening.

"He shouldn't be held as someone who has turned down his country," said Rodgers.

"It was the medical experts who made the decision - it wasn't Daniel."

Sturridge stats

Daniel Sturridge
  • Liverpool: 16 goals in 20 games
  • England: Six games, one goal

Sturridge, who has scored five goals in four games for his club this season including winning goals in all three Premier League matches, picked up the injury in the 1-0 win over Manchester United on 1 September, but was able to stay on the pitch until the final whistle.

His absence from England's squad for the 4-0 win over Moldova five days later and the goalless draw with Ukraine on Tuesday further stretched coach Roy Hodgson's limited attacking options.

Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney missed both games with a cut head, with club team-mate Danny Welbeck suspended for the Ukraine match and West Ham's Andy Carroll absent with a foot injury.

"It will have been nearly a week [since England's second game] and with the injury he had it gives him a chance to play," added Rodgers

"If it was a Saturday game he may well have struggled but that extra bit of time gives him a chance and I would suspect he will hopefully be fit, although he won't be 100% fit."

Sturridge defended himself on Twitter after his comments  to Liverpool's official website that he was "'more worried about Liverpool and putting in good performances for us" provoked criticism from some England fans.