DANIEL STURRIDGE says he has spent hundreds of thousand pounds of his own money trying to get his body to withstand the injuries that have ruined his career.
Sturridge has seen fitness problems blight a career which saw him shine at Chelsea and Liverpool and made him an automatic pick for England at his peak.
And the 31-year-old admits he has even thrown his own cash at trying to strengthen himself in a bid to stay playing at the highest level.
Sturridge said: “I saw a quote from Marco Reus the other day which said he’d pay any amount of money to just play injury free and never be injured. And honestly, I’d do the same.
“You know, I would. I would pay any amount of money.
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“I’d spend loads of money outside of the physios at work to do extra stuff to ensure that I can be as healthy as possible.
“Hundreds of thousands, to be fair, you know, to make sure that my body has to be in the best shape possible.
“And sometimes, you can do, you can put the hours in, you can do everything. But sometimes it is just luck.”
Sturridge is hoping to find a way back into football having left Turkish side Trabzonspor earlier this year.
Fitness worries have put some managers off from giving him a chance in the past, but the striker is comfortable no matter what happens from now on he knows he has done everything possible to stay in the game.
Sturridge hit his peak while playing for Liverpool under Brendan Rodgers[/caption]
The England striker last had a short stint with Trabzonspor[/caption]
Speaking to the Between the Lines podcast, he added: “The toughest thing is just the mental side of things because, you know you’ve given your all, you know you slept well, you know you ate well, you know you’ve got the treatment that you need to get.
“Everything in your mind. You’ve done everything – those small one per cents.
“And when you go through an injury the mental side of it is very tough because, if you’re not strong mentally, injuries will continue to break you and continue to send you down a dark path.
“I fortunately always was able to stay focused, always was able to continue to move forward and say, you know what, I’ve picked up a little bit of a knock, but I’ll be back in this time. I’ll be out on the pitch again.
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“I’ve been someone who’s played on injuries too and put my body on the line for the team on countless, countless occasions.
“I remember having a muscle strain and we played against Man United for Liverpool at home. We won 1-0 and I scored a header. And nobody knew this but before the match, I had a quad strain, I knew I was injured and the team knew I was injured, but I put my body on the line.
“I’ve always put my body through everything to put the shirt on for the team, because it’s what I love.”
You can listen to the full interview with Daniel Sturridge in the third episode of ‘Between The Lines with Melissa Reddy’ now – available here.