The currently-uninjured Daniel Sturridge has been speaking to the media ahead of Liverpool's Europa League tie against Augsburg and has used the opportunity to rubbish reports that he has not been doing his utmost to play for Liverpool.
Throughout his injury absences - which were both numerous and prolonged - frustrated supporters and ex-players have often questioned Sturridge's desire to play for Liverpool, with Jurgen Klopp seemingly calling on his striker to toughen up by recognising what "real pain" is.
Some of the evidence used to support these claims emerge from Steven Gerrard's most recent autobiography, in which he spoke of having to beg Sturridge to play through the pain barrier against Manchester United in 2013.
Sturridge used today's press conference to rubbish these rumours, calling those questions disrespectful and astonishing:
To say a player doesn't want to play is the biggest disrespect you could ever say to a footballer.
It’s astonishing, it’s disappointing, but it’s football and, of course, people are entitled to their opinions.
I don’t think anybody will understand how much it means to me to play football.
I’ll continue to focus on doing my best, and playing for Liverpool.
I’m not someone who’s at the house chilling, laughing and joking, living my life to the fullest when I’m not playing; I’m at home devastated, sitting in the stands devastated.
Sturridge also fielded a rather odd question asking whether his religious beliefs prevented him from playing. We don't know the exact wording of the question - or the basis for it at all - but Sturridge - while taken aback by the question - did the decent thing and answered it:
I don’t listen to social media.
It’s surprising to be honest, I didn’t know religion had anything to do with football. As a child you don’t think about those things.
Sturridge is right not to listen to social media, the great sound and fury of some Liverpool fans upon hearing Sturridge has suffered another injury can be vitriolic.
Jurgen Klopp also revealed he hopes to start Sturridge both in Thursday's Europa League clash and in Sunday's League Cup final against Manchester City. Sturridge has won the Premier League and Champions League with Chelsea, but is yet to win a medal with Liverpool.